Koka Pruidze, a former deputy healthcare minister, has been arrested facing charges related with abuse of office and bribe-taking, which resulted into GEL 700,000 financial damage to the state, the chief prosecutor’s office said on September 16.
Pruidze, who denies charges, served as deputy healthcare minister since 2004 and was dismissed couple of weeks before Alexander Kvitashvili’s resignation from the post of healthcare minister on August 31.
The prosecutor’s office said that in 2009 Pruidze used his official position to influence on a ministry’s commission on a tender offer for procurement of vaccine for state-funded vaccination to accept a bid from a firm, which was offering vaccine for three-fold inflated price. The prosecutor’s office alleged that Pruidze received USD 25,000 bribe in exchange.
Founder of the firm, N-Pharma+, allegedly involved in the scheme, who is also arrested, told investigators that Pruidze received USD 25,000; but the sum, he said, was handed over not directly to Pruidze, but to a middleman.
It also said that the investigation into the case had been launched based on results of a probe carried out by the Chamber of Control, the state audit agency.