TBILISI, DFWatch — Property seized in the heat of the election campaign is to be returned, even though the new government is not yet in place.
New stricter legislation was used by authorities in spring to fine tens of individuals, including election winner Bidzina Ivansivhili, Kakhi Kaladze, former AC Milan player, and other representatives of the Georgian Dream coalition, as well as the companies Burji and Elita Burji.
Typically the amount of fines was more than 200 million lari or USD 122 million. Personally Ivanishvili was fined with more than 100 million lari.
Some of those who were fined ran into a difficult situation and ended up having their property sold at an auction, mainly for residential buildings.
The lawyer for those who were fined claimed that the accusations were not substantiated by any kind of evidence and that the court cases violated procedural rules, but the courts didn’t consider any of their arguments. The property of those who were fined has now been sold at auctions.
The National Enforcement Bureau on Monday made a statement that there were violations in the process of fining. This is an issue on which lawyers and those fined people argued in vain until now.
The burerau’s decision was made by the bureau chair. According to the statement, those fined will have their property returned, but if their property was sold on auction, it will probably be compensated by money instead.
The bureau informs that the process of researching the deprived property and the issue of returning property is still underway.
As for Burji Ltd, the Enforcement Bureau writes that it will be returned back to its owner.
The company was fined because the State Audit Office accused it of offering free services to Georgian Dream, which is prohibited by law during an election period. The company argued that it had been paid for the services in question.
The property of Burji Ltd was sold to Gama Ltd. Its owner is a person close to Saakashvili’s government.
The National Enforcement Bureau on Monday annulled the decree which transferred Burji company to Gama Ltd.