TBILISI, DFWatch – Experts here in Tbilisi think the government is ‘trying to find legislative methods to put pressure on Ivanishvili’, following a government initiative about strengthening financial monitoring under the pretext of combating money laundering.
Amendments will be made to the law called Anti-Money Laundering Support. The initiators are ruling party parliamentarians Zviad Kukava, Andro Alavidze and Mikheil Tskitishvili.
The bill defines what is considered a suspicious transaction.
According to the today’s legislation, any arrangement despite transaction type and money amount is considered a ‘suspicious transaction’ if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the ‘transaction was signed or implemented with an aim to finance terrorism.’
The bill envisages that a person who ends up being categorized as sponsoring terrorism should be included onto a list of terrorists or persons who support terrorism, or people connected with them.
Under the new bill a new record will be created over ‘property (including money assets) obtained or derived by criminal means on the basis of a signed or implemented transaction.’
The bill also considers restricting of number of regulations. But parliament has yet been unable to discuss the implicatinos because they are not familiar with the content.
Zakaria Kutsnashvili, chairman of the organization Law for People, claims that there is no need to adopt this amendment and the governmental hasn’t made a convincing argument for why it is adopting it. Therefore, he suspects that all these new regulations may used for political persecution.
“Money laundering crime is based on a specific crime. It is terrorism, illegal weapon trade, trafficking and official crime. Now they want to cancel these specific grounds and they want to put all crime in this framework,” Zakaria Kutsnashvili explains.
He focuses on the fact that it’s not right to accuse a person on the bases of suspicion. Suspicion can become grounds to intervene if it creates a reasonable assumption about [someone] committing a crime. So the suspicion can be information but not a [reason for action].’
“Putting criminal case to such low standards indicates that they are doing their best to get in place legislation as a basis to begin persecution,” Kutsnashvili says.
So according to him, these decisions make it clear that all is connected with what has become known in Tbilisi as ‘the Ivanishvili factor’.
“We can assume that it is connected with Cartu Bank and all processes around it. Truth and lie is mixed together today so that none of the government’s initiatives are acceptable or believable; because the government cannot explain or prove the necessity for such amendments,” Kutsnashvili says.