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The News in Brief

Monday, January 22
Media Organizations Urge Parliament to Uphold Presidential Objections to Broadcasting Law

A group of fifty-one media organizations called on the Parliament of Georgia to uphold the presidential objections to the controversial amendments to the Law on Broadcasting.

The media organizations welcomed President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s decision to veto the bill and called on lawmakers to “use the presidential veto as a chance to return back to the issue and analyze the threats that the controversial wording of the Law on Broadcasting poses to media environment.”

“In the country, where commercial advertising is declining annually amid increased budgetary funding for Georgian Public Broadcaster … significant increase of public television’s advertising and sponsorship opportunities poses a threat to the financial sustainability of independent media,” the joint statement of media organizations reads.

The media organizations, also involving regional TV broadcasters and print media, called for a meeting with the Parliamentary Chairman and the parliamentary majority group.

Georgian Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze, who is paying an official visit to Ukraine, said he is ready to meet media representatives upon his return to Georgia.

The legislative bill, approved by the Parliament last month and vetoed by President GiorgiMargvelashvili on January 15, envisages further expansion of powers of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), and has attracted heavy criticism from civil society organizations and private broadcasters previously as well.

We are waiting for the Ukrainian side to make a decision on extradition - Prosecutor's Office

The Prosecutor's Office has sent all available evidence to Ukraine, - Natia Songulashvili, a member of the Prosecutorial Council, said on Imedi TV in response to a question about the extradition of Mikheil Saakashvili to Georgia.

According to her, the Ukrainian side is expected to carry out relevant legal procedures.

"The prosecution found sufficient evidence that we believe can serve as basis for a positive decision on extradition. We are now waiting for the Ukrainian side to implement relevant legal procedures and make a final decision. We, the Prosecutor's Office, have sent all available evidence to create legal basis for making this decision," said Natia Songulashvili.