ferro zestaponi

The ferro-alloy plant in Zestaponi and other Georgian Manganese facilities are linked to the Miami, Florida based Georgian American Alloys. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–A lawyer working for Georgian Manganese was arrested for corruption on Tuesday.

Mirian Bichikashvili is accused of commercial bribery, the Finance Ministry said.

Georgian Manganese owns mines in the small town of Chiatura as well as the ferro-alloy plant in nearby Zestaponi.

A few years ago, the company was fined more than USD 350 million for damaging the environment. The case went to court and is not yet finished.

Investigators claim that in order to collect additional evidence for that court case, a contract was signed with Grigol Tsulukidze Mining Institute, and the lawyer Mirian Bichikashvili was instructed to work with a group of experts from the institute.

“The accused bribed a person who worked on the examination with certain amount of money to provide false information beneficial for the company,” the statement reads.

Bichikashvili now risks jail for up to three years.