Georgia’s Imedi TV to remain off air despite lifting of state of emergency
Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
Georgia will lift its state of emergency in two days, Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze said today, but a court order looks set to keep the main opposition television station off the air.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which controls Imedi, the country’s main opposition television station, said it had been informed that Imedi’s licence had been suspended and all its equipment put “under arrest” by court order.
Martin Pompadur, chairman of News Corp Europe, said Georgian authorities had justified the move by saying Imedi was “somehow involved”, along with the station’s founder and part owner Badri Patarkatsishvili, of plotting a Russian-backed coup. “To allege that News Corp is involved in a Russian-backed coup in Georgia is beyond ludicrous,” Pompadur said. “We are immediately appealing this decision in the Georgian courts.”
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