Controversy surrounding Tbilisi-based Maestro television station continued on December 31 with resignation of its general director Kakha Bekauri, who said he hoped his decision would give TV station’s owners more room for handling troubled relations with the station’s managing firm, founded by Erosi Kitsmarishvili.
Speaking at a news conference on December 31, Bekauri reiterated his allegations that Kitsmarishvili, one of the leaders of the Georgian Party, was pressuring him with a goal to turn the TV station into his party’s “mouthpiece”, but after refusing Kitsmarishvili wanted his resignation and for that purpose stopped financing the channel through his managing firm.
Bekauri said that he was resigning with the hope that now Kitsmarishvili would transfer funds, which will allow TV owners to repay staff salary arrears. Bekauri also denied statements made by Kitsmarishvili on December 30 in response to his allegations as “lie”.
Meanwhile, also on December 31 Mamuka Glonti, one of ten co-owners of the Maestro TV station, released a written statement demanding from Kitsmarishvili’s firm, Rustavi Media Management Company (RMMC), to repay the debt and to agree on ceasing a three-year contract, through which RMMC gained management rights of Maestro TV in November, 2009.
“Proceeding from the difficult situation surrounding Maestro TV, the founders of the TV company offer the founder of Rustavi Media Management Company, Erosi Kitsmarishvili, to fully repay the debt towards the company within the next 10 days and to cancel a contract between Maestro TV and Rustavi Media Management Company; otherwise, Maestro TV will resort to all the legal levers provided by the law to protect its rights,” Glonti said in a statement released on behalf of other co-owners of the station.