TBILISI, DFWatch – Saakashvili’s potential nemesis, the businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili, has lodged a an arbitration case against the Georgian government.
Maia Panjikidze, spokesperson for Georgian Dream coalition, said at a briefing Wednesday that the law firm Skadden will defend Ivanishvili.
Representatives of Skadden visited Georgia on July 16-17. The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC was chosen to protect the rights of Ivanishvili.
Skadden prepared a document in the name of the businessman called ‘last message about dispute.’ This document is a ground for starting a dispute between Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian government.
The message was sent to the president on July 31, as well as to the Ministry of Justice.
According to procedure, the Georgian government is given 14 days to admit it committed illegalities and achieve an agreement with the legal advisers of Ivanishvili through peaceful negotiations. If the term ends without an answer, the Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes will be sent a request to start arbitration. After that, a dispute will be heard by internationally recognized law experts.
Archil Kbilashvili, lawyer of Ivanishvili, talked about violated investment rights since October, 2011, cases which have been sent to the center for review. These are: illegal actions towards Cartu Bank, including amending the law and on the grounds of the amendment, the bank faced a loss amounting to 119 million lari. The law amendment was about devaluation of property provision by mortgage and bail. The bank was illegally fined for bonuses, which as if the bank gave away to employees with political motives, lawyer says.
He explains that it also considers to Interior Ministry’s operation conducted in October of 2011 when a car belonging to Cartu Bank was detained accused of money laundering. The bank lost about USD 42 million.
Law enforcement bodies forced clients of the bank to stop having contacts with this bank and also among those issues is another seizure of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s shares at Progress Bank.
Archil Kbilashvili explains that there will be interest rate added to the loss Ivanishvili faced and the government will have to compensate all the amount including this additional interest.
As for the 80 million lari which Ivanishvili paid in fine, the lawyer says this is not on the list of disputed issues, because Ivanishvili transferred this money not as a fine but in order to help people affected by a recent hailstorm which devastated forty villages.