Georgian Family Steps up Campaign for Return of Seized Independent TV Station

    Renewed Pressure for Imedi to be Restored to its Rightful Owners and
    Resume Independent and Balanced Broadcasting

    LONDON, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - The family of the late Georgian businessman and
philanthropist Badri Patarkatsishvili, who developed and financed what was
once Georgia's principal independent TV station Imedi, today announced that it
will intensify legal and diplomatic efforts to regain control of the
    Last November, Imedi was seized and forced off air by armed and masked
riot police officers. Subsequently, against the family's wishes, control was
taken by Joseph Kay without any legal right to do so. Legal actions are
already underway around the world to prevent what the family says are
continued unlawful attempts to appropriate the assets of Badri
Patarkatsishvili's rightful heirs.
    Now, led by his widow, Inna Gudavadze, Patarkatsishvili's family is
calling for the return of Imedi to its rightful owners and to its former role
as an independent news source for Georgia.
    In a further development, the family today welcomed the award of a
licence to an independent regional Georgian channel, TV Maestro, allowing it
to air current affairs programming. A family spokesman commented:
    'Georgia needs to be understood by the international community as a place
where the rule of law and freedom of speech are taken seriously.
    'Resolving the Imedi situation would provide concrete evidence that the
Georgian Government is committed to these crucial values.
    'We hope sincerely that the granting of the TV Maestro licence is an
indication that the Georgian Government is now willing to do what we have been
asking, namely to support the restoration of Imedi to its rightful owners and
to allow it to resume independent and balanced broadcasting.'

For further information:

For further information: Josh Brookstone, Tel: +44(0)207-067-0581,

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