TBILISI, DFWatch — Another former government official was January 26 released on USD 120 000 bail.
Tsezar Chocheli used to be governor of the Mtskheta Mtianeti region in Saakashvili’s government. According to the Finance Ministry, he supported the signing of illegal contracts related to implementation of different projects financed by the state. In return, he received a large income and laundered the money.
In the summer of 2010, Tsezar Chocheli asked New Energy Ltd to bring equipment worth USD 17 200 from Turkey in order to use in outfitting tennis and basketball fields in the garden of Svetlana Chocheli, wife of the governor of a small village near the capital.
The investigative service of the ministry says while Chocheli held the position, he was prohibited from participating in industrial activities and managing any industries. Despite this, he chaired New Energy Ltd and participated in signing contracts in order to receive illegal money.
November, 2009, the governor made New Energy transfer money received for different services to Berta Ltd. Berta is a company founded by his brother Iago Chocheli. New Energy satisfied his demand and transferred USD 3 190 000 to Berta’s bank account.
“Based on analyses, the total amount of Tsezar Choheli’s illegal income was USD 3 265 778. He didn’t report income received from illegal industrial activity in his annual property declaration,” the ministry informs.
The former official does not admit guilt.
Mikheil Saakashvili appointed Tsezar Chocheli as a governor in February, 2008, a post he held until November 24, 2012.