TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili’s TV station was subject to further difficulties Saturday as his distributor was physically attacked by a government employee.
Global TV, which is the only cable company currently carrying Ivanishvili’s Channel 9, saw their staff attacked by a local Saakashvili regime employee as they were trying to install satellite receivers in the rural town Zestaponi in Western Georgia.
Global TV’s troubles started when the company decided to carry the signals of Maestro TV and Channel 9, which are not pro-governmental television stations.
Giorgi Nikabadze and Manuchar Macharashvili, employees of Global TV, were installing satellite receivers when Valeri Telia, head of the military call-up service, approached them and verbally assaulted them, demanding that they stopped their work.
Channel 9 tried to get comment from Telia, who first refused, then denied all accusations and assaulted the channel’s journalists.
The situation escalated into a physical confrontation. Even though footage shows Telia physically attacking the telecom staff, he denied it afterwards.
This is not the only case of pressure against Global TV. Co-owner Aleksandr Ronzhess stated that in recent time about 50 government bodies suspended their contracts with the company simultaneously. They were also prohibited from participating in government tenders. Global TV is now on the edge of bankruptcy.