Money donated to families affected by a severe hailstorm in July has been returned to the Prime Minister, who donated it while he was in opposition earlier this year.
Bidzina Ivanishvili, a former businessman and now prime minister, whose fortune is 6 billion dollars, was fined by the State Audit Office several times during the election campaign. The audit office was authorized to track the financial transactions of political parties and fine them if there was discovered any illegal donations.
The audit office exercised its authority mainly to punish Georgian Dream coalition members, including now Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze, both fined for withdrawing cash from their own accounts.
July 19 there was hailstorm in Kakheti, in the east of Georgia, which affected thousands of households. The prime minister, who was then in opposition, said he would pay the fine he had been issued by the State Audit Office of USD 48 million to the families distraught by the storm.
Monday, the National Enforcement Bureau confirmed that 80 million lari was returned back to the account of Bidzina Ivanishvili, stating that the money wasn’t spent and October 18 it was returned back to Prime Minister’s account.
Short statement of enforcement bureau says that certain procedure violations were discovered during studying this case, due to which fine was abolished and money was returned back.
Bidzina Ivanishvili was then fined June 15 considered to donate money for his own political party, which is considered violation of law. Almost entire election legislation was amended in December 2011, two months after Bidzina Ivanishvili declared he wanted to come to politics and change government through election.