TBILISI, DFWatch–Transparency International suspects that gifts worth more than USD 111 million that were received by the Georgian government during the last 8 years may actually have been robbery conducted by the state.
This is the conclusion Transparency International Georgia (TIG) draws after studying data received from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
Real estate, stakes in enterprises and movable property were donated to the state by LLCs, individuals and legal persons.
Motor vehicles dominate the list of property donated to the state in 2008, 2009 and 2010 years. For example, in 2008, Toyota Center Tbilisi LLC gave the state, free of charge, GEL 1 453 370 worth of cars, in 2009 two individuals transferred 17 cars worth GEL 594 418 and USD 21 000 to the state free of charge.
In 2011, the state received assets worth GEL 752 818 and USD 24 783 from individuals, and property worth GEL 266 226 from legal persons.
The total value of the property donated to the state by individuals and persons involved in private law during 2004-2012, when United National Movement was ruling party in Georgia, amounted to over USD 111 million.
The Chief Prosecutor, Archil Kbilashvili, stated several months ago that he is interested in these cases. He said that after the change of government in October 2012, the Prosecutor’s Office has received several hundred complaints about illegal deprivation and state robbery.
TI Georgia also has been contacted by several people who state that they transferred property to the state under coercion.
Head of TI Eka Gigauri believes it will be very complicated to return the confiscated property back to its former owners.
“If a third person bought property that was once illegally confiscated, it would be unjustified to take it from him. In such cases, the former owners should receive compensation equal to the amount of their deprived property,” Gigauri says.
TI calls on the affected persons and company representatives to approach their Center for Legal Assistance.