Court of Appeals upheld on August 14 lower court’s decision on imposing GEL 20.2 million (about USD 12.3 million) fine on Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili and GEL 16.9 million (about USD 10.3 million) on ex-footballer Kakha Kaladze.
Kaladze, who is Georgian Dream’s majoritarian MP candidate in Samtredia single-mandate constituency, and Ivanishvili have both been accused of violating party funding rules after the State Audit Office alleged that several million withdrawn by the two men in cash from their bank accounts could have been used illegally for their political activities.
In June USD 48 million financial penalty was imposed on him, which he initially was refusing to pay, which led to seizure of his banking assets in Georgia. In July he paid USD 48 million fine and said that he did so because he wanted to contribute to relief efforts for disaster-hit provinces.
Ivanishvili said on August 13 that despite his decision to pay USD 48 million, the authorities were not going to “compensate fully” the damage inflicted on locals by strong hail, wind and flooding in Kakheti and some other provinces in July. He said that he would only pay his new multi-million fine if the authorities use his funds to fully compensate for the inflicted damage.
“I will pay this sum [GEL 20.2 million] only if the authorities fully compensate for inflicted damage; otherwise, of course we are not going to pay this illegal fine,” Ivanishvili told journalists on August 13 after a campaign meeting in Bagdati, town in Imereti region.
Also on August 14 the Court of Appeals upheld lower court’s decision on fining sixteen people for alleged illegal financial contribution to Georgian Dream coalition.