After Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava’s refusal to arrive at the Finance Ministry’s investigations service for questioning over ongoing investigation into alleged misspending of GEL 5.2 million by the Tbilisi municipality, two investigators visited Ugulava in his office in the City Hall and questioned him for more than three hours.
“Tbilisi Mayor has been questioned as a witness. The process proceeded in a very business-like atmosphere,” Tamar Kuchava, an investigator from the Finance Ministry’s investigations service told journalists after the questioning on February 2.
Kuchava said she would not give details of questioning as the investigation was still ongoing.
“He [Ugulava] answered to all of our questions; he’s a quite good respondent,” she added.
Finance Ministry’s investigations service and prosecutor’s office have accused Tbilisi Mayor’s Office of misspending GEL 5.24 million of public funds by creating hundreds of fictitious job positions in a municipal service through which funds were channeled to pay salaries of UNM party activists. No charges have yet been filed against anyone.
Ugulava, who dismisses the allegations as “completely politically motivated”, told journalists after he was questioned that he had no complaints personally against team of investigators, but in general, he added, it seemed that investigation was in “a deadlock”
Ugulava was summoned for questioning earlier on Saturday, but the Tbilisi Mayor refused to arrive at the Finance Ministry’s investigations service, citing tight schedule and instead offered investigators to arrive at his office later on Saturday.
“If the investigation has more questions I will answer to them in this form,” Ugulava said, referring to arrival of investigators at his office.
“In general I am concerned that the country is on the wrong path and the new government contributes to it,” he said.