Pro-Russian Alt-Info media group fined $70,000 for financial violations in Georgia
Pro-Russian “Alt-Info” fined in Georgia
Based on an appeal from the Audit Service, the court fined Alt-Info, a pro-Russian, violent and homophobic media organization, 216,000 lari [approximately $70,000].
The case concerns the so-called “dirty money” – Alt-Info incorrectly presented the declaration for 2021 and hid its non-monetary donations. According to the Accounts Chamber, in the declaration for 2021, the party indicated that they had no financial turnover in December.
With regard to the concealment of non-monetary donations, then, as the department explained, the declaration did not reflect office or other inventory services.
According to the audit service, the total undeclared expenses of the party amounted to 72,000 lari [approximately $23,000], and according to the law, the party should be fined twice.
In an interview with the Pirveli TV channel, one of the leaders of the party, Koka Morgoshia, said that they were going to appeal the court’s decision:
The ultra-radical media organization Alt-Info has become very active in Georgia since the war in Ukraine started at the end of February 2022. But at the end of 2021, this organization also founded a political party of the same name.
Alt-Info TV channel broadcasts the Russian portrayal of the causes of the war in Ukraine. In broadcasts and news, in particular, it is regularly stated that the West incited Kyiv to take military action, and Ukrainian President Zelensky is allegedly ready to sacrifice his people at the request of NATO.
The TV channel propagates the idea of a dialogue between Georgia and Russia as the only pragmatic solution for the country. In particular, the channel’s broadcasts often suggest that in the event of a friendly attitude on the part of Tbilisi, Russia will allegedly return Abkhazia and South Ossetia to Georgia.
The Georgian opposition believes that the Georgian authorities are behind Alt-Info and similar pro-Russian groups. This is also confirmed by the investigations of independent non-governmental organizations.
Many experts in Georgia warn that such political groups are dangerous to the country’s security.