Court of Appeals in Tbilisi ruled on June 15 that multi-million fine imposed on Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of opposition coalition Georgian Dream, earlier this week should be halved to GEL 74.32 million (about USD 45.4 million).
The Tbilisi City Court in its two rulings into two separate cases on June 11 imposed total of GEL 148.68 million (about USD 90.9 million) fine on Ivanishvili after upholding a decision by the state audit agency accusing Ivanishvili of violating party funding rules.
Ivanishvili’s lawyers took the case to the Court of Appeals, which in substance upheld decisions of the state audit agency and then of court of the first instance that Ivanishvili violated the law, but downscaled the amount of financial penalty.
Ivanishvili said earlier that he would not to pay the multi-million fine, saying that the court ruling was part of the authorities’ campaign to target him and to curb distribution of satellite dish antennas to the provinces. He was referring to one of the two cases over which he was fined in which the state audit agency claimed that installing satellite antennas to clients “free of charge” by cable operator Global TV with funding from Ivanishvili was violation of the party funding rules; Global TV is co-owned by Ivanishvili’s brother.