TBILISI, DFWatch – An investor in an opposition affiliated cable company was yesterday released after five hours of interrogation.
U.S. citizen Aleksandr Ronzhes, who is co-owner of Global TV, yesterday was unexpectedly detained at Tbilisi international airport and prevented from leaving the country.
A few hours later, the finance ministry released a statement saying that Ronzhes was suspected of money laundering.
After the detention, lawyers and staff from the U.S. embassy came to the airport. After five hours of questioning, Ronzhes was let go and allowed to leave Georgia. He planned to first fly to Turkey and then to the U.S.
Ronzhes was questioned as a witness. His lawyer said the questions he got was not about money laundering, but real estate assets which Ronzhes recently has sold.
The investigation is not finished, and he may be questioned again in the future.
His lawyer Zurab Baziladze told interpressnews that the 17 percent holder of Global TV is concerned about the situation the company is in, and he will soon return to Georgia to protect his business here.
A few days ago, the owners of Global TV held a press conference together with other companies, talking about the difficult situation in Georgian media. Global TV may have to dismantle all their satellite receivers, after a court ruled in favor of the national channels Rustavi 2 and Imedi that they had the right to switch off their signal from Global TV’s cable network.
This entails a technically difficult procedure which may require the dismantling of satellite receivers.