Court of Appeals in Tbilisi upheld on June 30 ruling of a lower court imposing GEL 2.38 million (about USD 1.45 million) fine on Bidzina Ivanishvili-led opposition coalition Georgian Dream, lawyers representing Ivanishvili said.
Six parties within the coalition, plus Ivanishvili’s public movement were fined for what the court and state audit agency said was an illegal GEL 476,619 non-monetary corporate donation to these parties in a form of renovation of office spaces by a company affiliated to Ivanishvili.
The same company, Management Service, has itself been fined into the same case with GEL 2.38 million during separate court hearings in May and earlier in June.
The fine imposed on the Georgian Dream coalition parties is twice as much than the total monetary donations these parties received during the first six months of this year.
Leaders of the Georgian Dream coalition said the court ruling was unfair and part of the authorities’ campaign of targeting Ivanishvili.
Political parties within the Georgian Dream said they would not be able to pay the fine.
According to standard procedures, in case of non-payment of a financial penalty, the case is referred to the National Bureau of Enforcement at the Ministry of Justice, which has to launch evaluation of assets of an entity or a person facing penalty. The property will then be seized and auctioned; the auction has to be conducted one month after the evaluation of property is completed.
The same procedure applied to a separate case involving GEL 74.32 million (about USD 45.4 million) fine, which was imposed personally on Bidzina Ivanishvili.
After his refusal to pay the fine, which Ivanishvili slammed as “absurd”, the National Bureau of Enforcement announced on June 26 that billionaire opposition politician’s shares into two Tbilisi-based banks were impounded.