21 June, 2012

Our newspaper wrote last week that Alexander Ronzhes, one of the American shareholders’ who owns 17% of ‘Global TV’ is worried about the problems, the Company is facing. As we already know Bidzina Ivanishvili’s brother is one of the founders of ‘Global TV’; actually, according to the court ruling, the Company must dismantle the antennae erected for the consumers on the basis of long-term agreement. We have information that Ronzhes was going to discuss the issue at the USA Department of State but due to last week’s developments, he (presumably the American Embassy and Georgian public too) almost forgot about it – the American shareholder of ‘Global TV’ was detained at Tbilisi International Airport. According to the spread information, 7 or 8 men approached him asking to follow them for interrogation.

The American citizen refused but he was forced to accompany them to the first floor of the Airport. Ronzhes assessed this as violence; in any case, he wrote and sent such text to his Georgian friend. The lawyers weren’t given a chance to timely discuss the matter with him and later the American guest declared that he was verbally offended (!).
Lili Gelashvili, Alexander Ronzhes’ lawyer: ‘Alexander Ronzhes was interrogated as a witness. As stipulated by the law, he had to get a notification that he was to be interrogated. Thereby, it was a forced interrogation of the witness. He had already gone through airport registration when he was taken to the ‘Staff’ for interrogation. As Mr. Ronzhes says, he was verbally offended and despite the fact that he doesn’t know Georgian, he understood the meaning. Later the lawyers were allowed to attend interrogation.
The interrogation was on when three representatives of the US Embassy arrived but they didn’t attend the process. Later they spoke to Ronzhes but the content isn’t known to me. We learnt from the Ministry of Finance website that on the basis of information of National Bank Financial Monitoring Service investigation had started on the fact of legalization of illegal income. On June 8, 2012 Ronzhes for GEL 1 million 100 thousand sold to ‘Leasing 21’the property that he bought in 2004. It was his property and we don’t understand what caused suspicion. As it turned out, the Financial Monitoring Service thought that Ronzhes withdrew the sum from the bank but it doesn’t correspond to reality. He wasn’t taking the money across the border and consequently, had

no obligation to fill in the declaration.
It seems that the Service of Financial Monitoring made a lapse, considering that he had withdrawn the cash from the bank and was going to cross the border without filling in the declaration…’
‘Ronzhes answered all questions regarding purchasing and selling, consequently. nobody put forward any claims. The American citizen left Georgia without signing any receipt and giving any promises. He said he’d come back soon to help ‘Global TV’ solve the problems’, declared Zurab Bazlidze, ‘Global TV’ Development and Marketing Director.


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New hurdle for GPB reforms
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“Investigation in Gori”
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Media Without Political Influence

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Other Stories
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GEL Exchange