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Berezovskiy may take possession of the Georgian “Hope”

19.11.2009  |  21:18

4621.jpegThe long-suffering Imedi (Hope) TV channel is the center of attention again. Recently, Court of London delivered an expert report confirming the fact that Badri Patarkatsishvili's will was composed after his death. As GeorgiaTimes correspondent found out, it does not mean that the media assets are now going to pass to the family of the decedent and that the channel will again become the voice of the opposition. It is Boris Berezovskiy who might become the new owner of the Georgian Hope.


The day before, informational agencies vied in reporting the proven forgery of the will of the disgraced businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili who duly died in February 2008 in London.

Lasha Birkaya, attorney of Patarkatsishvili's family has recently held a press-conference in Tbilisi where he stated the following: "The expertise confirmed that the documents, particularly, the will and the testamentary executor appointment act were composed after the death of Badri Patarkatsishvili".

Accordingly, it turns out that the Imedi TV channel, which has been the subject of so many discussions and legal proceedings, may become the property of Patarkatsishvili's wife Inna Gudavadze in the nearest future. This is what the Georgian opposition is standing for as well, for after Patarkatsishvili's death it was deprived of such powerful media support as the Imedi channel. The opposition held several meetings demanding the return of the channel to Inna Gudavadze who promised to make it independent once again.

However, it turned out that there is no reason for the Georgian opposition to rejoice so far. There is no doubt that the division of Patarkatsishvili's property is a political affair that combines the interests of many high and mighties; thus, it contains a lot of "buts" and neither high-powered attorneys, nor well-known lawyers, nor even the impartial jurisdiction of London is able to dot the i's here.

Well, that is the way the story goes. The Imedi TV channel no longer belongs to Joseph Kay who managed to snatch the right to dispose of Patarkatsishvili's disputable property. Joseph Kay is the tycoon's step-brother, a citizen of the USA, who had been just Joseph Kakalashvili before. After Patarkatsishvili's death he turned up all of a sudden and presented the disputable will that triggered endless legal proceedings.

Eventually, Kay did not become the owner but was given the right to dispose of the late tycoon's assets. As the lawyers say, this complicated juridical hassle cannot be cleared up even by legal advisers. So far, Patarkatsishvili's family is unsuccessfully disputing the court's decision.

However, this February, the Imedi radio and TV company, as well as the Technomedia company, has passed to RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA), an Arabian holding company from United Arab Emirates. Kay sold 90 percent of equity. According to the opposition, RAKIA represents the key persons of the Georgian government.

So, what is going on? Does it mean that so long as the fact of forgery was established Patarkatsishvili's widow will have to be at law with the Arabian television tycoons? GeorgiaTimes correspondent managed to get in touch with the attorney of Patarkatsishvili's family Lasha Bikraya and interview him on the matter. That is what he said:

The opinion received from the Court of London has already been submitted to the Supreme Court of Georgia. We believe that it will enable to prove the illegality of placing Patarkatshishvili's property in management of Joseph Kay. Perhaps, in future, the family will file a lawsuit against the Arabian company as well, for initially the transaction was connected with disputable property.

The attorney also reckons that the opinion of the Court of London will contribute to Gudavadze's confrontation with the authorities. In due time, Gudavadze disseminated an "Open letter to the Georgian people" where she accused the Georgian authorities of their unwillingness to air the oppositional Imedi TV channel; that is why the process of its re-registration in the name of one of Patarkatsishvili's relatives, an American citizen Joseph Kay, was initiated.

In the course of the talk, another interesting detail emerged, which was obviously overlooked by journalists. According to Lasha Bikraya, the opinion on the will forgery was delivered by Court of London in the context of the case where the runaway tycoon Boris Berezovsky was the claimant and the family of Patarkatsishvili and Joseph Kay were the respondents.

When asked about the course of legal proceedings between Patarkatsishvili's widow and Berezovskiy, the attorney answered that he is responsible only for the cases processed in Georgia and cannot provide any comments upon the London proceedings. Thus, it is time for neither Inna Gudavadze, nor the Georgian opposition to rejoice, for Imedi may again slip away and get in Berezovskiy's possession.

It also became known this February that Berezovskiy started a legal process against Gudavadze on dividing Badri Patarkatsishvili's property. Berezovskiy insists upon having a joined business with the latter, which gives him the right to inherit a half of their common assets. In her turn, Gudavadze asserts that her husband had divided business with Berezovskiy before his death.


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