On May 25 Batumi TV Company “Channel 25” brought suit against the local Tax Inspection at Batumi City Court.
The TV Company does not recognize the debt of 330 000 GEL allocated on them.
“We do not recognize this debt because it is illegal,” said Merab Merkviladze, founder of the Channel 25. “We have won the case in every court – at the Supreme Court too but the Tax Inspection does not care about the court decision and demands us to pay the debt.” Merkviladze stated that official from the Security Ministry of Adjara Autonomous Republic had appropriated the shares of the TV Company illegally in 2000 – 2004.
According to official documents, on September 1, 2004 Batumi Tax Inspection issued the act after inspecting the TV Company and imposed the debt of 287 166 GEL on the company. Since then the initial sum was added with fines and now the total debt has reached 330 000 GEL.
Merkviladze stated that in December of 2004 President of Georgia announced overall financial amnesty in Georgia. However, since the Channel 25 was already fined, it was not inserted on the list of amnestied companies.
On May 1, 2007 Batumi City Court did not satisfy the suit of the TV Company against the Tax Inspection. The decision was appealed at Kutaisi Appeal Court. The court concluded that after the tax act was enacted the Tax Inspection had to produce tax-request as well but the inspection did not do that. Consequently, on April 22, 2008 Kutaisi Appeal Court decided to annul the debt.
Tax Inspection appealed against the decision of the Appeal Court at the Supreme Court but the Supreme Court did not accept the suit, and the previous decision was not changed. Nevertheless, the Tax Inspection did not annul the debt on the TV Company and did not issue a new act.
Merab Merkviladze stated that because of the debt TV Company has not received any grants and cannot take loans from the banks either.