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Maestro TV appeals against satellite dish confiscation

Georgian broadcaster Maestro TV is to appeal against the impounding of 10,000 satellite dishes by a Tbilisi court amidst allegations that it planned to distribute the dishes to rural viewers as part of a vote-buying plan orchestrated by opposition leader and businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Maestro TV says that its plan to distribute dishes for a low or nominal fee was part of a marketing campaign. Maestro TV is distributed via cable and satellite only. The broadcaster’s lawyer Dimitri Gabunia reportedly said that Maestro TV would take the case to the country’s Court of Appeal, though with little hope of success.

Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media, meanwhile has expressed concern over violence against journalists in Georgia in recent weeks. Mijatovic has also raised the issue of the impounded satellite dishes.