The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, March 23
Alleged murderer of three extradited from the Netherlands

Under the request of the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, Giorgi Dgebuadze (alias Mastera), declared wanted under the Interpol Red Notice Application for murder and excess of official power, was extradited from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia.

An international search was announced via Interpol for Giorgi Dgebuadze, who was absconding from investigative authorities and fled from the territory of Georgia. After establishing the whereabouts of the defendant, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia addressed the authorities of the Netherlands with a request for Dgebuadze’s arrest and actively cooperated with them in order for the extradition of the fugitive to Georgia to be executed.

Under the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Court of the Netherlands found Giorgi Dgebuadze’s extradition admissible. Based on the aforementioned, the defendant was extradited to Georgia and court proceedings on the case will soon begin.

“We would like to remind the public that from 2005 Giorgi Dgebuadze served as the head of the Second Unit of the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Interior, and later, under the order of former Minister of Defense Bachana Akhalaia, was appointed as the head of the Main Unit for Security and Special Tasks of the Military Police Department.

“Giorgi Dgebuadze is charged with excess of official power and participation in the murder of three young men – Shota Gorgadze, Marad Artmeladze and Roman Surmanidze – in the Navtlughi area in Tbilisi on January 12, 2006. Another perpetrator was Davit Akhalaia, the former head of the Constitutional Security Department and other officials of the same department. This crime is described by Article 109 (a, h) and Article 333 (b) of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Tbilisi City Court is hearing the case in relation to the aforementioned and judgment of guilt is already rendered against other co-perpetrators”, says the statement of the Prosecutor’s Office. (IPN)

Dispute about control over Maestro settled

An agreement was reached on Monday between the owners of Maestro TV to allow the channel to continue using its logo, settling a several months long dispute.

The agreement was announced in a statement by Gia Gachechiladze (‘Utsnobi’), who owns 55 percent of the shares in the TV company, and Maka Asatiani, a designer who owns another 25 percent of the shares.

It was one of the main demands by employees to reclaim the logo and name; for several days Maestro has broadcast without its logo.

Another point in the agreement was to dismiss Levan Gachechiladze as Director of Studio Maestro and appoint a neutral person as the new Director.

The joint statement by Asatiani and Gachechiladze lists the following points of the agreement:

• The logo and name will be restored;

• The parties will cease making public statements until negotiations are over;

• In the negotiation process, both parties will have temporary administrators, namely Temur Gachechiladze, a former consultant for Gia Gachechiladze, and Zviad Zubiashvili;

• Immediately provision for the financial liabilities of the company;

• Launch joint negotiations to form a management team of the company.

“We hope that the negotiations will not end in a deadlock and the parties and employees, who guarantee continued broadcasting, will not sacrifice everything for the dispute,” the statement reads.

Nanuka Chkuaseli, a lawyer working for Levan Gachechiladze, told DFWatch that she cannot offer any additional details beyond the statements that have already been made.

The ownership dispute at Maestro started when singer Gia Gachechiladze became the owner of a controlling package of shares on February 1. He then appointed Levan Gachechiladze, his brother, a businessman and former presidential candidate, as the new director.

After a month of wrangling, the Public Registry registered Levan Gachechiladze as Director General of Maestro on March 7 and terminated the authority of the former director, Baia Gadabadze.

The dispute about the fate of Maestro continued under the rule of Gachechiladze. Maka Asatiani, who owns 25 percent of the company's shares, refused to let him inside the Maestro building, which she owns.

Meanwhile, Bacho Kikabidze, who claimed that the Maestro name and logo has belonged to him since 2011, wanted to launch a new channel called M24 and Maka Asatiani was ready to make the Maestro building available for the new channel. During this time, most of Maestro's journalists planned to work with Kikabidze’s new channel.

Kikabidze was unable to be reached for comment to confirm if he still plans to launch M24. (DF watch)