A three-judge panel of the Supreme Court found appeal from Rustavi 2 TV, which is disputing lower courts’ rulings ordering transfer of ownership of the broadcaster to its former co-owner, admissible.
Decision on admissibility by the panel, which includes judges Ekaterine Gasitashvili, Paata Katamadze and Besarion Alavidze, was posted on Supreme Court’s website on Friday evening.
It says that the appeal will be considered on its merits by the same panel of three judges without oral hearing.
Tbilisi Court of Appeals upheld on June 10 the ruling of lower court in favor of Kibar Khalvashi, who seeks reclaiming shares in the Rustavi 2 TV, which he owned about a decade ago.
Current owners of the broadcaster, who claim that Khalvashi’s drive to regain Rustavi 2 TV is orchestrated by the authorities to silence the television station critical of government, took the case to the Supreme Court.
On the eve of Supreme Court’s decision on admissibility, Rustavi 2 TV’s head Nika Gvaramia alleged that pressure was exerted on judges from the authorities to dismiss the appeal and not to proceed with its consideration on the merits. The panel of three judges denied the allegation in a brief written statement few hours before their decision finding the appeal admissible was made public on September 9.
After the Supreme Court decision was announced, Gvaramia thanked judges for “brave decision”, but complained about the part of the decision, which says that the appeal will be considered on the merits without oral hearing.