Internet site Presa.ge has become another victim of the authorities. Henceforth, the team of journalists who worked on the contents with its staff will have a new domain Presage.tv in the Net. However, we promise Guram Donadze whose attempt is to deprive us of our own property to get him to Strasbourg Court and we will finish fight to evict Presa.ge even in order to claim that there are journalists in Georgian mass media who can not be sold or moreover become a party to a murder either.
Let alone RTV, which was turned into a journalistic mutant by Mr.Donadze’s obsessive perception whose name’s association with the murder of Girgvliani will be sufficient for him all his life the evil thereof. As for Mr.Kapanadze, before he likes to dive in our property, let him remember the article about his role played in the obscure murder case of former Secretary Security Council Nugzar Sajaia. Though, it is another matter for discussion and the two murders will be thrown day-light upon in due time and the two names will be repeated again in all reports by Georgian and not only Georgian mass media.
Now let’s keep to the point – Internet portal Presa.ge was first launched in the Net on October 7, 2007. Owing to its optional format and editorial policy, it gained popularity very soon. Presa.ge is visited by averagely 9000–9500 IP addresses a day that amounts to 20-25 readers per day. As a matter of fact, Presa.ge has never turned off its calculator or increased the number of readers artificially. Hence, we have a voice that Presa.ge is one of the most top-rated sites in mass media.
Presa.ge was established by a non-governmental organization “Presa Georgia” and consequently the non-governmental organization owned the domain too. In 2008 Mamia Sanadiradze – founder of “Caucasus Online” offered us to go into partnership with the company.
The owner of Internet company - Mamia Sanadiradze had all technical resources for beefing up Internet media. His suggestion was to develop Internet television on the basis of Presa.ge and we established itv.ge in this way, that is now staffed with the journalists working in “Droni.ge”.
Apart from having all resources for Internet media development, Mamia Sanadiradze had another intention too - Mr. Sanadiradze tried to protect his own company from the authorities. The authorities had a real war detonated with the company then.
Under the assignment of Tbilisi City Hall, the Supervision Service cleared thousands of cables of “Caucasus” clients every day because they overhead wires were arranged on apartment buildings. Though, no wires of cable TV or telephone exchange lined alongside the wires of “Caucasus” were cut for the same reason.
All over Tbilisi, newly asphalted roads on which millions of GEL were spent, are being dug now. Gigi Ugulava does not care about this fact for some reason and he does not call to account from “Caucasus Online”, as Mamia Sanadiradze left his own country due to the authorities’ call for it and the governmental clan. As regards to Mr. Donadze – he, as a rule is coming after wolves…..
By the way, some months ago, when “Caucasus Online” was holding a pompous presentation in the Concert Hall of Philharmony, Mr.Ugulava with CEO Gia Adeishvili connected fibre optic cables with such pride that one could think it was me who objected to break up “Caucasus Online” just one year ago.
As for Gia Adeishvili, his part in the whole scandal is of historical gravity – he just recommended the Internet Media Group to assign Giorgi Kapanadze as Managing Director. Mr. Adeishvili is a person who with his brother Merab Adeishvili was marched deprived to other officials holding posts in Shevardnadze’s time. Today the same Adeishvili successfully cooperates with the same government officials who ensured the delivery of Presa.ge to Donadze.
I’d better go on telling the history of Presa.ge to keep to the point. In brief, Mamia Sanadiradze’s offer was advantageous for us too, now, that we could keep our independence. In 2008 (CIMG) Caucasus Internet Media Group was established that was founded by “Caucasus Online” hundred per cent. CIMG included several Internet sites: itv.ge, avoe.ge, bude.ge, radio.ge, internet.ge, etc. But Presa.ge used to cooperate with Media Group. Though, Mamia Sanadiradze asked us to make temporal re-registration of Presa.ge in CIMG in order to make the holding become more grabbing from the advertising point of view, and also to affiliate finance controls while doing the books for implementing Media Project.
We arranged things as following: the editorial staff and journalist would keep their absolute independence and Presa.ge could leave Caucasus Internet Media Group the day it took decision about it. Of course, the domain Presa.ge had to be given back to the owner.
We were not against it, as, we could not imagine then the things would go so. Since Giorgi Kapanadze was appointed as Managing director of CIMG, it became clear that the authorities were trying to take control over the Internet.
The above mentioned things are like “reading gospel over a wolf”… After the pressure had enhanced from the West in order to free Georgian media from the authorities, the government “worked” on media transparency on the one hand and on the other hand it tried to control the Internet.
After appointing Mr. Kapanadze in Media Holding, we explained him clearly that we were not going to follow his managing rules and would get back the domain and lead our own life. At the same time, we shared our ideas with the new owners of “Caucasus Online” about our intentions that it was unacceptable for us to work with Mr. Kapanadze and called for getting the domain back.
Some weeks passed awaiting the response, though, Mr. Kapanadze could not overcome the barrier we put up between us since his appointment. Throughout that period, he tried to carry out negotiations with us but we kept saying we had noting to do with him at all. After that. Mr.kapanadze declared the domain would no longer be returned to us.
It makes no sense for us what the use was in selecting 6 letter-symbols, if the same journalists would leave the site, though, we were not answered to that question. After several unsuccessful attempts of coming to terms with us, Mr. Kapanadze decided to use another method and brought a concocted paper where transfer of 9’000 GEL was recorded. The money transfer was dated back 28, though, nothing was proved to be done on the grounds of the transfer.
When we asked him to explain us what that transfer meant, he could not answer us, but while talking with him we gradually found out that he tended to prove us as if we sold the domain in 9’000 GEL. Editor-in chief of Presa.ge Gia Iakobashvili told him there was no point in asserting such complete absurdity and added hereon: “you are never going to sell your droni.ge in 9’000 GEL, visited by 200 readers a day, and how can I sell Presa.ge for that price?”
“How much does Presa.ge cost then? “ – asked Mr. Kapanadze. He was answered: “We did not fix a price on it because we are not going to sell anything, but while the cost of bude.ge was estimated at 65’000 GEL, how could Presa.ge been set a price at 9’000 GEL?” Hence, we stressed again that Mr. Kapanadze would never be able to prove us the fact of sold domain by bringing as many transfer forms as he wished, because such fact stands rather far from reality.
However Mr. Kapanadze insisted on Gia and me to name the sum. As it seemed, he was going to blackmail us. Though, he failed to succeed and was made to agree with us that we together would wait for the response of “Caucasus Online” about the domain issue.
We once again contacted the representatives of the company and stated that we would never let any entity have the domain. We were promised to be responded after a week. Though, just the next day, i.e. December 17, Friday evening, we were told that they were not going to give us back the domain and they told us to address Mr. Kapanadze to discuss other issues. Everything was obvious- we had been informed before, that Mr. Donadze was trying to get hold of the site via Mr. Kapanadze, but the reason for doing it is still obscure for us.
After we had been answered from ”Caucasus Online”, a few hours later Mr. Kapanadze called and informed me in a happy voice that he liked to meet with Gia and me. I answered we had nothing to speak with him. I told him he could go to Mr. Donadze and say what he liked, so I broke off the conversation then.
Next day, Secretary of Mr. Kapanadze phoned me and said I was dismissed from work. They also informed the journalists Nino Japaridze and Gocha Jelia about their dismissal by parol too. For a wonder, we were told to leave our jobs by the person who could not have been appointed officially – all founders must be consent to appoint Mr. Kapanadze to the position but Mr. Donadze has not been able to manage it yet.
Mr. Kapanadze has been legally unable against us so far. But associating our names with Donadze and Kapanadze is so humiliating and unacceptable that we continue our work from home depending on minimal resources gained from advertisements. At the same time, we will keep international organizations and all embassies informed about the circumstances in order to become convinced once again in the authorities’ policy how they value free media in the country. We shall definitely lay an action against “Caucasus Online” that seems to be managed by Mr. Donadze too and we make a promise that Presa.ge will not defy any obsessive cuts and insinuations against Georgian mass communication and country.