TBILISI, DFWatch – A bank director in Georgia who authorities removed from his job will get his old job back.
This follows from a decision to revoke the seizure of all 100 percent shares in Cartu Group and 22 percent of Progress Bank, effective Thursday afternoon, and return control to the owners.
The reason this happens is that Saakashvili’s main competitor, Bidzina Ivanishvili, paid a USD 45 million fine he was issued by Tbilisi City Court for having used his companies for election purposes. In local currency, the fine was 75 million lari.
After the July 19 hailstorm which damaged more than 40 villages, the businessman asked for legal ways to help people cope with their loss after the disaster. Eventually he found no other way to help them but paying the fine. Ivanishvili transferred 80 million lari, nearly USD 48 million, to the state, and said this was in order to help the population in affected villages. He also promised to establish a commission, which will monitor the spending of this money.
Ivanishvili claimed the fines were illegal for a number of reasons; however none of the courts granted any of the appeals. The businessman said many times that he was not going to pay the fine.
After the deadline for paying expired, authorities seized his 100 percent stake in Cartu Group and his 22 percent stake in Progress Bank. The assets were put up for auction, but no buyers were found.
In keeping with procedural rules, the property was taken over by a caretaker management.
This means that there was appointed a manager which was under the control of the enforcement agency, and then creditors would be serviced by money from the caretaker management. Until the caretaker management process ends, the manager exercises all ownership rights, but the property remains in the possession of the debtor.
Vladimer Ugulava, President of the International Center for Economy Policy Research, was chosen as caretaker manager. He fired Cartu Bank director Nodar Javakhishvili, the supervisory board and the board of directors.
Yesterday, Ugulave stated that his authority as a manager wound end Thursday. The National Enforcement Bureau Wednesday asked the court to suspend the caretaker management and revoke the seizure of shares in Cartu Group and Progress Bank. The court granted the request and revoked the Ugulava’s authority.