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Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
Okruashvili to Speak Out, as Tax Inspectors Launch Probes
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Sep.'07 / 14:09

Ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili will make a public statement today - his first since he quit the government last November.

He has already convened a news conference in his planned party’s office at 3 pm local time. The name of the party will be Movement for United Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Revenues Service has launched a probe into alleged tax evasion by Okruashvili’s party. The Revenues Service has claimed that the party, when purchasing its headquarters in downtown Tbilisi, declared that it was worth GEL 250,000, instead of USD 1.8 million, which the Service considers to be the real market price.

Georgian media sources have also reported that the Revenue Service is engaged in a tax audit of ARTI Group, a distributor company for Procter&Gamble, Gillette, Wella and other companies.

ARTI Group is owned by Kibar Khalvashi, a close friend of Okruashvili's.

Khalvashi owned the Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 television station when Okruashvili was in government. He, however, sold up shortly after Okruashvili quit in November 2006.

Also on September 25, the president’s spokesman, Dimitri Kitoshvili, was arrested and charged with extortion.

Kitoshvili, who also has close links with Okruashvili, according to the General Prosecutor’s Office, “extorted” 2.6% of shares in mobile operator company Geocell from ex-lawmaker and businessman, Jemal Svanidze, last year. The shares were obtained, Nika Gvaramia, the deputy general prosecutor, said, by one of the founders of ARTI Group, Guram Gogua. However, Gogua was merely “a fictional buyer”, Gvaramia said.

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