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07.11.2011 18:48

Serious Threat or Cruel Joke?

David Mchedlidze

Journalist and producer Lado Bichashvili of Gori-based Trialeti TV is being sent offensive text messages, Trialeti TV reports. The TV company management is being texted from the same number about Bichashvili, alleging him to be an agent providing data about TV activities to some special services. The TV management has been recommended to dismiss Bichashvili.

In special statement released on November 7 Trialeti TV included one of the text messages unedited.

“We have learned that you are conducting talks with Mr Bidzina Ivanishvili on selling 40 percent of Trialeti TV shares to him so that he could later fund you to produce anti-governmental programs. Thus far it’s quiet over the issue but when it is followed by deep resonance it might be too late (KUD (Department of Constitutional Security), SOD (Special Operation Department) or riot police standing at the TV company door). Don’t say then you haven’t been warned.”

Lado Bichashvili and TV management receive text messages of similar content from the same identified number, the TV company does not publicize. got in touch with Lado Bichashvili. – How serious do you take these messages? Is it real threat or a joke played by someone exasperated at you?

Lado Bichashvili – We do call back the same number but there is no answer. All that started following Bidzina Ivanishvili’s press conference. In addition to offense blackmail and threats prevail. They are trying to discredit me. Therefore we decided to get law enforcement involved into the case so that they could identify the sender. – Is the TV owner really selling 40 percent of shares?

Lado Bichashvili – I am unaware of it, the anonymous sender is writing about it, I have no idea what information it is based on. I believe this SMS hysteria comes from special services and in case they have no hand in it, then they have got the identified number so they can find out who the sender is.

Trialeti TV journalist lodged a complaint to Shida Kartli Prosecutor’s Office and Regional Police on blackmail and offense. He has already been interrogated. Now Trialeti TV is waiting for the response from the law enforcement.

On behalf of editorial office: Reporting to John Nanetashvil, co-founder of Trialeti TV said decision on selling 40 percent share to Ivanishvili is the fabrication.







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