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GPB Board Statement on Suspension of Director General

Publish Time 2013-03-04 11:59:00

On March 4, Board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster discussed situation ensuing following the sacking of GPB’s News Department head Khatuna Berdzenishvili by the broadcaster’s director general Giorgi Baratashvili and the former’s allegation of the interference into the department’s editorial independence, political pressure and an offer of financial deals.
Guided by the acute need to ensure freedom of the Broadcaster from political interests and uphold its image. Amid these serious allegations, the Board deemed it essential to hear arguments of both sides. Upon hearing Mr Baratashvili and Ms Berdzenishvili, in line with Sub Paragraph B of Para 1 of Article 321 of the Georgian Law on Broadcasting and upon demand of its members, the Board discussed mandate of the director general. Based on Para 3 of Article 321 of the Law, the Board voted to suspend Mr Baratashvili from this position.

Members of the board agreed that sacking of the News Department chief lacked arguments, that this act constituted an inadequate response to the ongoing political pressure on the channel and thus could drag the Broadcaster into political games. This would, naturally, constitute a grave threat to the Broadcaster’s reputation, independence and impartiality.

Members of the Board wish to remind that the Georgian Public Broadcaster has widely been recognized as the most professional and balanced media corporation in Georgia for number of years already by assessments of BBC, EU, OSCE as well as the December 2012 prize of the European Broadcasting Union for the most professional coverage of elections in Europe.


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