State Audit Office (SAO), which is in charge of monitoring political parties’ finances, said on Wednesday it had launched looking into alleged violation of funding rules by President Saakashvili’s United National Movement during a campaign ahead of the October 1 parliamentary elections.
SAO, which is chaired by former UNM lawmaker Lasha Tordia, launched the probe based on materials submitted to the state audit agency by the Prosecutor’s Office on January 8.
Prosecutor’s Office said late last month that it was investigating alleged misappropriation of large amount of state funds for UNM’s pre-election campaign purposes. The Prosecutor’s Office has claimed that during a day-long event involving campaign rallies in eleven towns across the country on September 8, 2013 UNM hired 393 minibuses to ferry supporters and the Interior Ministry allocated its 54,000 liters of diesel fuel for those minibuses. In a separate case, the Prosecutor’s Office said, UNM received covertly GEL 120,000 for covering transportation expenses for a campaign rally in Zugdidi on September 23, 2012 from deputy Tbilisi mayor Davit Alavidze, which also constituted violation of party funding rules.
SAO said in a statement on January 9, that as part of the probe it would question all those individuals who “may possess information about factual circumstances of the case.”