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European Experts to Help Resolve Imedi TV Problem – Burjanadze
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 20 Nov.'07 / 15:05

The Georgian authorities, in cooperation with European experts, are working on a model that will ensure Imedi TV broadcasts “unbiased” material in the future, Nino Burjanadze, the parliamentary chairperson, said on November 20.

“We, together with our European colleagues, are actively working on this issue to ensure that this company is really unbiased. Any TV company, which exists in Georgia, should be as unbiased as possible, totally neutral. This, however, of course does not mean that they should praise the authorities,” Burjanadze added.

Meanwhile, Polskie Radio quoted Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski as saying on November 19 that he would travel to Georgia to mediate in the dispute between the authorities and Imedi TV.

He said that Poland had decided to intervene after being asked to do so by the U.S. authorities and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

“We want to send our best experts to Georgia,” Radoslaw Sikorski was quoted by Polskie Radio as saying. “As in Ukraine, where Polish institutions supported the peaceful resolution of the crisis there, now we will do the same in Georgia through various means.”

The Polish embassy in Tbilisi said that a Polish delegation, led by President Lech Kaczyński, is expected to arrive in Tbilisi on November 23 to participate in ceremonies marking the fourth anniversary of the Rose Revolution.

Peter Semneby, the EU special envoy for the South Caucasus, said in Tbilisi on November 16 that the EU was exploring ways on how it could help break the Imedi impasse. He, however, ruled out “any mediation function” for the EU. But he pointed out that there were many “experienced persons” and experts in the EU capable of giving advice in this concrete situation.

Meanwhile, Imedi radio, which is part of the media holding also involving the television station, also remains off air. With regards to the TV station, two separate decisions by the courts and the Georgian National Communications Commission, remain in force, keeping the station off the air. However, despite being off the air, the radio station has no such judgements legally preventing it from resuming broadcasts.

“We have not received any paper, or notification, explaining why we can not resume broadcasting,” Nona Kandiashvili, managing director of Imedi radio, said on November 20.

The radio station's, along with the TV station's, studios remain sealed off by police and staff haven't been allowed back to work. On November 20, Kandiashvili and journalists from Imedi radio sought the assistance of Public Defender Sozar Subari in resolving the situation.

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