Bidzina Ivanishvili: Censored03.04.2012 | 18:52
Revaz Sakevarishvili, Editor in Chief of Forbes Georgia, recently left his post. The decision was taken due to the pressures on the edition from the Media Partners, which owns the rights on the edition. The scandal erupted after Forbes Georgia published an interview with opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili. According to former Editor in Chief, such display of censorship may be connected with the friendship between the president of Media Partners Gagik Yeghiazaryan and head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Georgia Gela Bezhuashvili.
Our correspondent had a conversation with Revaz Sakevarishvili. The meeting took place on the radio "Tavisufleba".
Who is Gagik Yeghiazaryan?
He is the president of the publishing house Media Partners. This is an international company with own business in the publishing industry in several countries. They have branches in Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia. Yeghiazaryan is highest executive manager of this project. Media Partners has a license not only for the publication of the magazine Forbes.
Yeghiazaryan worked in Armenia - there he was deputy minister of privatization. More exactly, Yeghiazaryan and Gela Bezhuashvili studied together at Harvard.
How Gagik Yeghiazaryan tried to influence the editorial policy of the Forbes Georgia?
Yeghiazaryan has always tried to interfere in editorial activities and to state the last and decisive word. He wanted to influence all the editorial directions: texts and content, photography and design. Often, he kept the right to last word, but at some moment this turned critical. Often, the topic was not sharp enough to come into conflict because of it. Sometimes we had to reject his attempts to interfere through negotiations and arguments. We have communicated via the Internet, sometimes personally. He was in Tbilisi when I resigned.
Was there controversy between you?
Yes, this happened. We openly argued with each other, live or via e-mail. I've saved this correspondence and sent to the American Forbes.
Interview with Bidzina Ivanishvili, which you were preparing for the last number, was censored. Do you think it would be published?
I cannot say. They tried to cut this material and make a lot of corrections. I let myself to bring this interview to the public and to show its true face.
Were you previously familiar with Bidzina Ivanishvili?
This was my first meet with him. Based on the style of Forbes, it was clear that this will be an interview about business, economics, management, strategic vision; not about politics in any case. And it was so.
Has someone from Bidzina Ivanishvili's surrounding called you with a proposal for cooperation with the "Georgia Dream"?
No, I have received neither calls nor offers. Now I want some time to relax and take a sensible decision, where and how to work.