17 People Fined with GEL 1.17m for 'Illegal Party Donations'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Jul.'12 / 15:05

Tbilisi City Court imposed total of GEL 1.17 million on seventeen people after approving on July 8 a decision by the State Audit Service, which said that these individuals had failed to justify legitimacy of funds they contributed to various political parties this year.

Fines imposed on each varied from minimum GEL 20,000 to maximum GEL 177,250, depending on an amount of donation, which the court and the State Audit Service deemed as illegal. Imposed fines are five times the amount of each donation.

All of them, but one, were contributors to various opposition parties.

One individual, who was fined with GEL 20,000, was a contributor to the ruling United National Movement party, who donated GEL 4,000.

Twelve out of 17 individuals were donors of political groups within Bidzina Ivanishvili-led opposition coalition Georgian Dream. Combined fine imposed on those twelve persons totaled to GEL 861,500.

Four people, who have been fined with total of GEL 284,845, were donors of Free Georgia opposition party, which is led by Kakha Kukava.

Lawyers representing some of the fined individuals accused the court of bias in favor of the State Audit Service and said they would appeal the ruling.

The court’s ruling also means that political parties will not be able to make use of donations in question.

In case of Georgian Dream this donation amounts to slightly over GEL 172,300, which is 14% of total monetary donations (GEL 1.17 million) which the parties within the Georgian Dream coalition have received in the first half of 2012.

The ruling United National Movement party will be deprived of GEL 4,000 contribution, or 0.2% of its GEL 1.74 million total monetary donation it has received in the first six months of this year.

Free Georgian opposition party will not be able to make use of its GEL 56,969 donation, which is 26.2% of its GEL 216,819 monetary donation which the party has received in January-June, 2012.

The State Audit Service said on July 9 that it was now studying whether donations made by 29 other individuals was legal or not. The list of those individuals, published by the State Audit Service, includes those who have contributed to National Forum and Our Georgia-Free Democrats – both are members of the Georgian Dream coalition.

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