TBILISI, DFWatch – Bidzina Ivanishvili, who has been fined USD 45 million but refuses to pay, says he doesn’t own shares in any Georgian companies.
According to Ivanishvili’s official Facebook page, he says he no longer owns shares in Cartu Bank nor in any other Georgian company.
“I sold my last two shares on May 2 and transferred it through the bank to my own son Uta,” says the Facebook update.
But in the same statement, the businessman says that the government can seize everything anyway. He does not mention real estate assets in his post.
After Georgian authorities initiated a claims procedure against him, the Executive Bureau contacted Cartu Group and Cartu Bank and demanded that the two companies disclose who their owners are.
Ivanishvili and his lawyers disagree with the court ruling which issued him the USD 45 million fine and are challenging it at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
On June 20, Ivanishvili was given another seven-day term to pay the fine. If not, the Executive Bureau is entitled to seize and sell on auction any assets registered in his name, including shares in companies. In addition, the government has the right to act as manager of his shares in companies. If the seized assets are not enough to pay the fine, the government can ask other countries to seize his assets there too.
Failure to pay a fine is not sufficient legal ground to deport a person.