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Inna Gudavadze, the widow of the late Georgian tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili,
Inna Gudavadze, the widow of the late Georgian tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, has sent an open letter to Georgia's president, asking for help in restoring ownership over the Georgian TV channel Imedi.

Patarkatsishvili, who financed Georgian opposition and had planned to run in the January 5 presidential polls that returned Saakashvili to power, died in February this year at his home near London. Shortly before his death, Patarkatsishvili handed his controlling stake in the channel to his cousin Joseph Kay, a U.S. national.

After the businessman's death, Kay arrived to Georgia and claimed ownership of the company, but the family of the tycoon says the documents were forged and maintains Patarkatsihvili would never have handed over his property.

At a news conference in Tbilisi on Tuesday, Kay's lawyers made references to a 1994 agreement signed by Kay and Patarkatsihvili, which they say states that Gudavadze has no authority to manage Imedi TV.

"Mr. President, without respect for private property, the rule of law and, of course, media freedom, the world will continue to rank democratic development in Georgia poorly," the letter, published in The Georgia Times newspaper, says. "I encourage you to prove your recent words of support for democracy in Georgia by your actual deeds."

In her letter, Gudavadze denied having any political ambitions, saying that she only wants to defend the interests of her family.


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