The opposition New Rights party called on Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze on January 29 to immediately respond to the “mass infringement of property rights” being carried out by the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Tbilisi Municipality.
MP Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights, said at a news conference that numerous cases of property rights being violated, as demonstrated in the misappropriation of property through intimidation by the authorities, are “a clear sign of neo-bolshevism.”
“We call on Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze to express her position and support our proposal to set up a special parliamentary group to investigate each reported case of property rights infringement,” MP Gamkrelidze said.
“We call on President Saakashvili to stop using the General Prosecutor’s office and Tbilisi Municipality as a tool for infringing on property rights; otherwise his calls for a dialogue with the opposition will be regarded as insincere,” he added.
Sandro Tateishvili, who owns a 9% share of the office space in downtown Tbilisi where the Ministry for Refugees and Accommodation is located, complained that investigators from the General Prosecutor’s Office demanded last November that he hand over his shares to the state. On January 29 he was summoned to the prosecutor’s office, but after the questioning he said that prosecutors eased up their pressure on him.
Chief Prosecutor of Tbilisi Giorgi Gviniashvili denied the allegations of exerting pressure and said on January 29 that Sandro Tateishvili was interrogated as prosecutors are investigating details of privatization of the building in which Tateishvili owns 9%.
“Two and a half months ago I was demanded from [representatives of]the [General] Prosecutor to hand over my shares, but this demand was not at all mentioned at today’s interrogation,” Tateishvili told reporters.
Opposition lawmakers said that the General Prosecutor’s Office gave up its initial demands because of the case captured the attention of the media and opposition parties.
“Two months ago prosecutors were demanding that Tateishvili give up his assets without any compensation, and now there are no similar demands. This was a very good example of how a person can protect his property rights,” Koka Guntsadze, a non-partisan opposition lawmaker, told Imedi television on January 29.