Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugulava, appointed former director of newsroom of the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s (GPB) First Channel, Khatuna Berdzenishvili, as head of capital city’s Krtsanisi district.
Berdzenishvili, who led public TV’s newsroom for more than four years, was sacked in early March. After dismissal she accused then general director of GPB Giorgi Baratashvili of meddling in editorial policy and claimed that she was sacked because of not yielding to pressure from Baratashvili to provide news coverage favorable for PM Ivanishvili’s government. Baratashvili denied allegations and said that Berdzenishvili was dismissed because of “reorganization” and instead was offered one-year contract on the position of his advisor for political programs. Few days later, on March 4, Baratashvili himself was dismissed by GPB’s board of trustees – the decision which Baratashvili appealed in court.
While presenting Khatuna Berdzenishvili as new head (gamgebeli) of Krtsanisi district, Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugulava, said on April 1 that his goal was to give more “political functions” to the post of heads of Tbilisi districts.
“In political functions I mean protection of all those people, who might be subject of oppression by various systems for various reasons; [holder of this post] should be human rights defender in respective district,” Ugulava said.