About “Tbilisi 24”: News agency Ltd “Tbilisi 24” was recorded in the Public Registry on 26th March 2015. Its owners are Gocha Nachkebia (50%) and Maia Shaishmelashvili (50%). Nachkebia, who is also the director of “Tbilisi 24”, is additionally associated with one of the leaders of the “Centrists” Party, Vladimir Bedukadze.
Both are “Public Monitoring Center” board members. The information available on the “centrists’” official website indicates that Vladimir Bedukadze is the Deputy Chairman of the Party.
On 12th December 2016, a news agency addressed the Georgian National Communications Commission with a broadcasting authorisation request. As a result of the Commission’s decision, taken on 22nd December, Ltd “Tbilisi 24” was declared as an authorized broadcasting personnel. Under the terms and conditions of the authorisation, “Tbilisi 24” must broadcast in Georgian for at least 6 hours in a 24 hour period. The latter will be diffused through Internet technology, as well as through a network of personnel authorized on the broadcasting transit.
On 12 July, “Tbilisi 24” reprinted an article from the Russian newspaper Vzgliad, which was about Centrists and had the following title: “The first openly pro-Russian party emerged in Georgia”
(В ГРУЗИИ ПОЯВИЛАСЬ ПЕРВАЯ ОТКРОВЕННО ПРОРОССИЙСКАЯ ПАРТИЯ).
Vladimer Bedukadze, who is the author of notorious prison videos, ran for the 2016 parliamentary elections as a candidate on a party list of Centrists. A political advertisement of Centrists aired on the Georgian Public Broadcaster, in which the political party promised voters the payment of 400 GEL worth Russian pensions and legalization of Russian military bases, caused public uproar. Therefore, on 14 August, the Public Broadcaster took the political advertisement off the air. This advertisement is available on the webpage of “Tbilisi 24.”
On 16 August, the Central Election Commission (CEC) annulled the registration of Centrists because, according to the data of the National Agency of Civil Registry, the power of the leader of political association and his chairmanship did not have legal force. After the annulment of registration by the CEC, Vladimer Bedukadze ran for the parliamentary elections as a candidate on a party list of “Georgian Communist Party-Stalinists (Ivane Tsiklauri).” The same list included another member of Centrists, the former security minister Tengiz Khachishvili.