TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Public Defender has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate a possible crime which took place in March, 2011.

A person with the initials L.L. was detained by strangers and brought to the Prosecutor General’s Office, where the detainee was told that if he paid a 15 million laris (later reduced to 12 million laris) fine, a bank in which this person used to hold a high position would be able to continue functioning, but if he didn’t pay the fine, they would arrest him, the bank’s management and the members of the bank’s fund council, the ombudsman informs.

Money was transferred to the state budget the next day, on March 19, 2011. The reason described in the receipt of the payment was ‘paying fine by L.L.’

March 19, Tbilisi City Court ruled about a plea agreement, as L.L was recognized guilty in violating passage 220 of the Criminal Code, about abuse of power using leadership position in an entrepreneurial or other organization. The court imposed a 12 million laris fine as punishment.

The ombudsman believes that government officials forced L.L. to pay the money, and that the Prosecutor General’s Office has to investigate the case.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has not yet responded to the ombudsman’s statement.