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Saving Imedi2009-11-03 10:00
Dispersion of the demonstration on November 7 2007 in Tbilisi is not forgotten. The opposition plans to celebrate the date with new protest rallies. For the anniversary the aggrieved Imedi journalists are going to sue the authorities through the European Court of Human Rights. However their colleagues might very well go there too since Imedi is subject to complete transformation so that even the name couldn't remind of the way Saakashvili treated his people two years ago.
In November 2007 Imedi (Hope) TV was in the van of the protest movement in Georgia with its detailed reports on numerous opposition actions calling for abrogation of constitutional amendments that prolong the work of parliament. Since Mikheil Saakashvili refused to make concessions, the call for the president's resignation was also among the demands.
Freedom of speech turned out costly to the channel and its owner - billionaire Bardi Patarkatsishvili who died in unclear circumstances a short while after the notorious events.
On November 7 2007 opposition rallies were dispersed with the help of tear gas, rubber bullets and hydro jets. The special force rushed in the Imedi office that was broadcasting the hideous actions to smash it down.
At that time the company was managed by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. The tycoon told Associated Press the TV channel was neutral: "We deliberately monitored every news spot to be sure of its objectivity, integrity and impartiality but apparently the authorities didn't notice that. We invited them to take part in live shows so that they could express their position. Instead we had two hundred cutthroats smashing down our office and attacking people".
The country was in the state of emergency for two weeks. Imedi vanished from the air to reappear a few months later loyal beyond recognition.
Saakashvili tried to play his career collapse back by submitting resignation and calling early presidential elections he surprisingly won again. The opposition claimed falsification of the election results.
But the president stayed at the steering wheel to do more mischief - like a cannonade over Tskhinval, for instance, that resulted in complete loss of Georgia's ex autonomies - South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
It was ex ombudsman Sozar Subari who called for investigation of the November 7 events.
However the only reaction of the General Prosecutor's office was initiation of a case on coup d'état that Badri Patarkatsishvili allegedly was going to effect. The case was closed after the suspect's death.