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Erosi Beyond Maestro


Aleksi Bezhanishvili

The founders of the TV Company Maestro and the representative of the managing company Erosi Kitsmarishvili could not reach agreement. The negotiation had been going on for several hours on December 1st in the office of the TV Company. The Coalition for Media Advocacy played the role of a mediator in the consultations. However, organization could not manage to mediate between the conflicting sides.

After the end of the negotiations one of the founders of Maestro Mamuka Ghlonti stated that the decision has been made to leave the building. He left the building with the employees and took the equipment with him. They moved to the radio Maestro and renewed the broadcasting of TV Company Maestro from its studio.

“The chance that Erosi Kitsmarishvili switches on Maestro in the parallel regime is zero. If Kitsmarishvili manages to do it with some mechanisms, one more criminal case will be filed against him,” – Mamuka Ghlonti stated to information agency Pirveli.

According to Ghlonti, the managing company does not owe the license to broadcast Maestro. Thus, Kitsmarishvili does not have right to apply Maestro’s frequency.

The confrontation in the TV Company Maestro started on November 30th when at approximately 07.15 pm. Erosi Kitsmarishvili with several unidentified individuals entered the building of the TV Company. The employees did not have opportunity to start working. The broadcasting was halted. Later several founders and some employees entered the building; one of them was able to enter the TV studio and renewed the broadcasting. They closed the door of the studio so Erosi Kitsmarishvili and his group located in another room would not hinder them with broadcasting.

Besides, Erosi Kitsmarishvili fired the chief producer of the TV Company Mamuka Ghlonti, chief director Ilia Kikabidze and Levan Chikvaidze who are the founders of the channel as well. On the other hand, the founders ceased the contract with the managing company which is represented by Erosi Kitsmarishvili.

Mamuka Ghlonti stated that the reason to move the TV Company to the radio Maestro was the danger of the feasible provocation from Kitsmarishvili. The chief producer of Maestro does not exclude that these provocations may result in civil confrontation: “We held negotiations which ended by fiasco. We were ready to make some compromises but Erosi Kitsmarishvili wishes to have everything or nothing. And we opposed this.”

According to Ghlonti, leaving the building of the TV Company does not mean that Maestro will stop broadcasting. According to him, Maestro will continue operating but in another building. And the dispute with Erosi Kitsmarishvili will take legal form.

On the other hand, Erosi Kitsmarishvili blamed Mamuka Ghlonti in hysterical provocation. According to him, Ghlonti took “completely confused journalists” out of the building and kidnapped the equipment of the TV Company for which he had paid 4.5 million GEL.

As Kitsmarishvili noted despite the fact that Ghlonti did everything to create hysterically provocative situation, the managing company will continue the work it started till November 30th.

According to him, he did everything to finish the talks productively. However the negotiations did not work. The founders of Maestro lost the ability to think. They showed the temptation to replace the managing company and draw other finances,” – Kitsmarishvili stated and added that the dispute over Maestro will continue in the courtrooms.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili addressed the National Commission of Communication and requested them not to allow Maestro renew the broadcasting from another office.

The press speaker of the Commission of Communication Khatia Kurashvili stated that according to the agreement between the TV Company and managing company, the broadcasting license of Maestro can no way be controlled by the managing company.

“TV Company Maestro has a frequency which can operate though the mobile station. Maestro’s broadcasting is not under danger since it owes the frequency which can broadcast from anywhere. As for the written request of Rustavi Media Management Company, Commission explains that it never intervened and will not intervene in the activity of cable operators which are realizing the transit of the broadcaster. The cable operators will independently determine the broadcasting channels to be included in their cable network according to the agreement made with the broadcasters,” – Khatia Kurashvili stated.

According to him, National Commission of Communication followed the events surrounding the TV Company Maestro and since the confrontation between the parties is not decreasing it once again calls on them to solve the dispute through legal means.

“Also we call on them to allow the journalists of the TV Company fulfill their work in free and peaceful environment. We repeat that the independence of media should stand above any dispute or financial matter,” – Khatia Kurashvili added.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili’s complaint does not have much legal perspective. The lawyer of Georgian Young Lawyers Association Tamar Kordzaia stated to interpressnews. According to her, the founders of the TV Company stated at the meeting held in the Maestro that the equipment belongs to them and not to the managing company. Thus, Erosi Kitsmarishvili’s complaint has no perspective.

On December 1st Maestro submitted complaints against Erosi Kitsmarishvili in the Office of Prosecutor and the main agency of Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tbilisi. In the request submitted to the main agency Kitsmarishvili along with the group of unidentified accompanies is accused of illegal invasion and hindering the broadcasting of the channel. According to the request submitted to the Office of Prosecutor, studio Maestro requests investigation regarding this fact.

“Maestro expressed hope that the Office of Prosecutor will file criminal case against Kitsmarishvili on the occurred.”

“I have not even started playing with the low trumps. I am just playing with normal cards…” “Supported by Bidzina Ivanishvili or Kote Gogelia, they are trying to put me aside as fast as possible!” “I have some other cards preserved,” – Erosi Kitsmarishvili stated in the interview given to Kviris Palitra.

The nearest future will show what Rustavi Management Company is going to do in future. Till then Maestro will continue broadcasting without Erosi.

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