TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Deputy Justice Minister says there will be a decision in about a week regarding the businessman who had his citizenship revoked.

Bidzina Ivanishvili is considered to be Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s main competitor, but his citizenship was revoked, which prevents him from taking part in politics.

After he lost a lawsuit to have the revoking declared invalid, he asked to have the citizenship restored following another legal avenue about naturalization.

Tina Burjaliani, Deputy Justice Minister, says the businessman will receive his answer within a three-month window. She says this time limit is mandated by law. This means that the answer will come in about one week from now.

It was on Thursday during government question time that the deputy minister answered a question from the parliamentary faction Unity for Justice. The questioner requested an explanation as to why the issue of Ivanishvili’s Georgian citizenship through naturalization is dragging out and at what stage the process is now.

Ivanishvili applied to the government to receive Georgian citizenship through naturalization on January 5. His citizenship was revoked on president’s decision made in October, four days after he made his first open statement declaring his political goals as well as criticizing the government.

His lawyers say the time limit for answering ends in three months, or on April 5.

But Burjaliani didn’t name a date for when a decision will be made, but remarked: ‘If I’m not mistaken, there are about four days in order to correct errors and these several days may also be added to the term.’

“In any case, three month term is defined by Georgian legislation. This term hasn’t been violated and I assure you that appropriate bodies will make a decision in terms defined by the legislation and it will be informed, naturally, to Mr. Ivanishvili, as well as to public,” she added.

According to law, the president can refuse to give citizenship to a person who has committed an international crime against peace and humanity; participated in state crime defined by Georgian law; or if due to interests connected with state or public security it is not reasonable to give him Georgian citizenship.

Bidzina Ivanishvili and his wife were granted Georgian citizenship by President Mikheil Saakashvili in 2004 for special merits to the country. Saakashvili revoked both their citizenships October 11, 2011.

At the end of December Tbilisi City Court annulled part of the presidential decree, restoring the citizenship of Ekaterine Kvedelidze, the billionaire’s spouse, only.

Further reading:

Claims president had conflict of interest

Disenfranchisement of a Georgian tycoon – was it legal?