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Court’s verdict has whipped up the opposition2009-02-25 10:28
A few days ago, the Tbilisi City Court refused the American millionaire of Georgian origin Joseph Kay the right to manage Badri Patarkatsishvili's assets, but recognized his right to execute the businessman's will. Patarkatsishvili's widow has already called this decision "a festival of injustice".
Immediately after the court's verdict was pronounced, the Patarkatsishvili family distributed a statement. It said, in particular: "This decision has nothing to do with justice. From the very start it has been a political decision. The court scorned indisputable evidence confirming that the documents presented by Kay were forged. He used these documents to demand control over Badri's assets. Nobody supports Kay, apart from the Georgian court and the Georgian government standing up for it."
According to the statement, the decision taken by the Tbilisi City Court proves yet again that the nearest relatives of the late oligarch were right in bringing actions to international agencies arguing that the Saakashvili regime, in collusion with Joseph Kay, "strangled" and silenced the opposition television station Imedi which belonged to Badri Patarkatsishvili.
At the end of 2007, the rebellious TV station Imedi was stormed by the Special Police in order to teach the owner a lesson not to continue making statements that were awkward for the regime. The television station was only permitted to resume broadcasting in May 2008 at the insistence of the West. However, from being an opposition channel, it turned into one interested only in entertainment. The authorities put the change in theme down to the wishes of the new owner - Joseph Kay himself.
The thing is that following the death of Badri Patarkatsishvili, his step-brother (though a range of sources call him a first cousin), the American citizen Joseph Kay (Iosif Kakalashvili), declared his right to the TV channel. He presented documents which allegedly confirmed that the assets and shares in the TV company had been re-registered into his name. But other family members and representatives of the Georgian opposition accused Joseph Kay of fraud and using forged documents. In their opinion, he had made dealings with the Georgian authorities in whose interest it was to deprive the TV channel of any opposition leanings.
Furthermore, at the start of February Patarkatshishvili's former partner Irakli Rukhadze, whose car "accidentally" exploded in the centre of Tbilisi last summer, declared that the authorities had been putting pressure on him to persuade Patarkatsishvili's widow to relinquish her assets both in Imedi and the Borjomi company.