POLITICAL BURDEN BEFORE ELECTIONS
23 February, 2012
POLITICAL BURDEN BEFORE ELECTIONS

 

Why can’t new TV Company be on air?

People have been waiting for airing of a new TV Company for a long time but despite having the license Eka Khvedelidze, wife of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili can’t put the ‘Igrika’ TV Company on air. Several days ago the TV Company had to send the first signal to satellite but the expensive mobile radio station that had to fulfill this function, turned out to be damaged. The doubt that the cargo shipped to

‘Kartu’, especially the equipment, was deliberately broken at the customs, arouse interest even of diplomatic corps working in Georgia. Representatives of diplomatic corps have already requested from ‘Cartu’ to send them documents and video material.


According to a reliable source, the employees of so-called ‘official channels’ are given new agreements to sign where it is mentioned that their transfer to another TV Company within the time-frame stipulated by the agreement will result in fining of the contractor by GEL 10 thousand to GEL 50 thousand.

Gocha Khundadze, head of Channel 9 information service: ‘The new TV will have its old name - 9th Channel. Repair of the base from where it was aired is coming to an end. We are planning to go on air from March. The signal was to be sent to satellite but the mobile satellite station isn’t working –when we got it from the customs it was damaged and it isn’t the first case.

The customs management keeps the cargo sent to ‘Kartu’ in the red zone. The authorities won’t get away with damaging of our equipment. Before sending each piece of apparatus underwent testing and after sealing it was sent to Georgia. But everything that comes to us is damaged and because of this there is no need in testing. Whatever happens is obvious. By the way, several days ago representatives of diplomatic corps of big countries got interested in this matter and requested us to supply them with all the materials; we did so. Everybody is interested what’s going on because such ‘coincidences’ don’t happen accidentally.

With a special declaration the Revenue Service reciprocated the information of ‘Cartu Group’ about damaging of the cargo sent to ‘Igrika’: ‘The Mercedes Benz microbus that belongs to ‘Igrika’ Ltd entered Batumi port on 9 February, at 13.00. As required by the law, in order to undergo customs control it was perfunctorily checked.’

Vladimer Khundadze, ‘Igrika’ customs’ representative: ‘We purchased the airing satellite TV station in Lithuania for EUR 450 thousand. The cargo entered Batumi port on a ferry. Our representatives met it, of course. They were authorized to attend the procedures but despite this they were ousted from the customs’ premises. According to the law currently in force, the owner of the cargo or his representative must attend the checking. In this case, not only the authorized representative but even the driver who was responsible for transportation, was not allowed to be present. The ousted Lithuanian driver was told that they wouldn’t remove the seal but check the car superficially. We were allowed to take the car from the customs at 5.30, the seals being removed. After bringing the car to Tbilisi it was sealed again, a document between our representative and that of the supplying company was drawn up because according to the agreement the seller is obliged to arrive in Georgia, test the apparatus, check and hand it over to us signing the acceptance report. Representatives of the selling company and the Independent International Expert Bureau SGS arrived in Georgia on Monday; testing, as agreed, was to take place on the territory of 9th Channel on Tuesday but everything failed. None of the electrical devices could be switched on. The apparatus didn’t work.

It’s unimaginable to fight against the customs that operates armed with tailored-for-them law and instructions and doesn’t allow you to cross the threshold. Only public pressure, attention of media and diplomatic corps can save our cargo.

Q. – Aren’t you going to appeal to the court?

A. – This is exactly what they want. Will you find justice in court? We have no right to lose time. We are negotiating with the partner company that supplied the equipment. It’s they who will try to find justice in court. They are refusing to supply equipment to us. Once at the customs they burnet our cargo distributed by Georgian companies known for bringing in famous brands.

Q. – How are you going to air the signal?

A. – We hope to repair the equipment. There are alternative ways too. We aren’t going to stop; it would mean capitulation!

 

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