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    Georgia opposition pledge new protests to defend TV station

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    Georgia's opposition will launch new protest rallies if the authorities do not allow the independent Imedi TV company to resume broadcasts, the leader of the People's Party said on Friday.

    TBILISI, November 16 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's opposition will launch new protest rallies if the authorities do not allow the independent Imedi TV company to resume broadcasts, the leader of the People's Party said on Friday.

    "If Imedi is not allowed to function, we will resume our rallies and our main demand will be the resumption of the TV company's broadcasts," Koba Davitashvili told reporters outside the Georgian parliament, where opposition leaders had gathered for a news briefing following the lifting of the state of emergency in the country.

    A court in Tbilisi ruled on Wednesday to seize property and freeze the broadcasting license of the Imedi TV company, established by billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili, who has said he is ready to stand against Saakashvili in the January 5 presidential polls.

    Georgian state-run TV later provided a visual record of the raid on Imedi to EU Special Representative for the Southern Caucasus Peter Semneby in order to prove that the studios were undamaged.

    Prosecutors said the channel's broadcasts had incited attempts to overthrow the Georgian government on November 7, when tens of thousands of opposition supporters flocked to central Tbilisi demanding that the president resign and call early elections.

    A TV company lawyer dismissed the ruling as groundless, and urged the Prosecutor General's Office to launch a criminal case against Georgian authorities responsible for suspending the company's license and seizing its property.

    The opposition also urged the Rustavi-2 and Mze TV companies to provide unbiased coverage of events in Georgia.

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