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Joseph Kay Accuses Davit Kezerashvili and Gigi Ugulava of Receding from Imedi TV

February 26, 2013
Gela Bochikashvili,

On February 23 the investigative service of the Ministry of Finance released former Imedi TV co-owner Joseph Kay’s testimony given in regard to illegal alienation of TV company Imedi. According to the investigative service the prosecution interrogated Joseph Kay on February 15, 2013 over the TV company.

According to Joseph Kay’s testimony in December 2008 Davit Kezerashvili, former Minister of Defense got in touch with him asking for a meeting at the office located in Mosashvili Street, Vake district. After the greeting Davit Kezerashvili, speaking in an uncompromising tone, said according to the decision reached he was to give up Imedi TV chares in their favor, reads the statement which further reads that Kay was to, following Kezerashvili’s demand, talk to President Saakashvili over Imedi TV. Based on Kay’s testimony he spoke to Mikheil Saakashvili who told him the following: “Whatever he [Kezerashvili] says take it as my words.”

The testimony given to the prosecution points out that in exchange for retreating from the TV company he was promised to be reimbursed the expanses spent on the television. Testifying Kay also alleged that threats were leveled. “Taking his threats for real I said virtually I had no choice and was to accept his offer,” Kay added. 

On the following day after the meeting with Kezerashvili, Kay testified, he met with Tbilisi City Mayor Gigi Ugulava in his office at City Hall. City Mayor, like Kezerashvili, pledged to compensate the money spent on the TV company. “Afterwards I was occasionally sent different legal papers I used to sign without giving any extra questions. I was generally aware that through the papers TV Imedi was being legally re-registered to some individuals, I though showed no concern into details. The only thing I was made aware from Gigi Ugulava I was going to maintain 10 percent of Imedi TV shares,” said Kay testifying to the investigative service.

Joseph Kay alleges that the money spent on the TV company tops USD 11 mln. Ugulava and Kezerashviil had been notified of the amount. They agreed to reimburse only USD 10 mln. “The money would be flowing from D.Iakobashvili’s firm who, they alleged, had their money.”

Kay says that instead of promised USD 10 mln he received just USD 8,800,000. Along with the alienation of TV Imedi Patarkatsishvili’s family lodged a complaint against him. Afterward he made a request to Ugulava to declare alienation of Imedi TV void.

“On February 25, 2009 he [Ugulava] brought an Arab named Mark, together with him we held a joint press conference quasi Imedi TV was purchased by Rakeen Georgia, the biggest Arab company making investments in Georgia,” reads the testimony.

On February 22 the Investigative Body of the Ministry of Finance reported on the launch of investigation against Tbilisi City Mayor Gigi Ugulava. Charges over illegal alienation of Imedi TV and embezzlement of budgetary funds in favor of the United National Movement were filed on February 23.

FYI, TV company Imedi was given back to Patarkatsishvili’s family on October 16 based on the agreement reached between previous and incumbent TV owners. Georgian Media Production Group is the 100 percent shareholder of TV Imedi. Until October 16 former Minister of Economy Giorgi Arveladze used to be 45 percent shareholder of the company. Giorgi Korakhashvili and Giorgi Mikeladze held 30 ad 15 percent of shares respectively. The remaining 10 percent of Georgian Media Production Group was held by US citizen Joseph Kay, a relative of the late business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.