TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi City Court Wednesday fined six representatives of the main opposition movement USD 200 000 for donating money to their own political movement, Georgian Dream.
The court made its decision under mediation of the State Audit Service, which determined that the six persons had made illegal donations to Georgian Dream.
The law says that for such violations, a person should be fine five times the amount of the money that was donated. If the violation is repeated, they will be fined ten times the amount.
This time they were fined five time the amount.
The State Audit Service concluded that Roman Kusiani, representing the Free Democrats, illegally transferred 30 000 lari to Georgian Dream, and hence he was fined 150 000 lari.
Giorgi Rcheulishvili, from the Free Democrats, was fined 50 000 lari. Omar and Anzor Shautidzes, both representing the same party, were fined 40 000 and 35 000 lari, respectively.
Martia Chincharauli from the National Forum was fined 25 000 lari, and Teimuraz Kharaishvili from the National Forum was fined 17 500 lari.
Those fined say they were illegally fined and did not violate the law while transferring money. The State Audit Service claims that Bidzina Ivanishvili gave them money to donate this money to the party.
The amended law says that an individual who is a citizen of may can donate 60 000 lari per year to a political party. This is about USD 36 000.
Those who were fined say this is their own money and never violated the law.
After the trial, Roman Kusiani from the Free Democrats said that he has a right to donate an additional 30 000 lari to the party. He says this money is his own savings, but the court didn’t accept this argument. Kusiani also informs that before the court hearing, the property of the donors was seized.
“I have documents which prove that Levan Bezhashvili, head of the State Audit Service, transferred 500 000 lari to the National Movement, but he is not mentioned in these transfers. If we are punished for such donations, why is Bezhashvili not punished?” he said, adding that this happened in 2011.
The press office of the State Audit Service says this is such anonsense that Bezhashvili will not even comment on this.