Kaladze - Suspected of Money Laundering And Without Appellation Right
02 August, 2012
Kaladze -   Suspected  of Money  Laundering And Without Appellation Right

akhi Kaladze, an active oppositionist politician and famous Former Georgian legionary of Milan club is suspected of money laundering and is deprived of appellation right to claim release of his arrested banking accounts at Georgian banks. The case bespeaks of political chase, for the General Prosecutor’s claim lacks clear proofs and the appellation denial is released incompetently.

Accounts of Kaladze, a majority candidate of oppositionist Georgian Dream political coalition, at Progress Bank [founded by Kaladze together with his foreign partners] and

Cartu Bank were arrested on July 26, 2012 on request of General Prosecutors’ office that suspected Kaladze in illicit income legalization. The key ground to the arrest served the transfer of USD 6 million from Kaladze’s accounts at Italian and Ukrainian banks to his Georgian banking accounts.

According to General Prosecutors’ announcement released on the next day of the accounts’ arrest, it started investigation on illicit income legalization claim based on financial monitoring service of Georgian central bank.

“Based on this information, USD 6 million was transferred to Kakhi Kaladze’s accounts lately. A significantly large portion of cash estimated by Georgian legislation and relevant international legislation as suspicious was removed from similar accounts within a short period of time. Namely, within last few months GEL 1.6 million cash money was removed gradually further circulation of which was not registered anywhere. Neither is available any document proving conclusion of any civil deal on the questioned money,” the Prosecutors’ announcement stipulates based on which court decided to arrest Kaladze’s accounts.

On the other hand, the researched information proved that  within the similar period GEL 900 thousand has been spent through bank payments on Kaladze’s family needs that that made clear to Prosecutors’ office that generally Kaladze refers to banking payments to cover civil transactions and current expenses and trailing down the remainder expenses was a must.

“Consequently, in pursuance with Georgian legislation and international standards on anti-money laundering, the investigation ought to investigate the suspicious operations related with especially large amount of cash (GEL 1.6 million) and insure arrest of banking accounts until completion of the investigation,” the Prosecutors statement reads.

Experts find the arguments ridiculous for millionaire Kaladze may spend as much money as he would like per day at casino for example and that’s none of the authorities’ business since origin of the money is crystal clear.

“Money laundering suspect should include three key chains: unclear origin of the accrued money/property, and its further unclear circulation and location,” Shalva Tadumadze, a lawyer of Kaladze, said in the interview with Georgian Journal. “While the entire world knows origin of Kaladze’s property, he was a famous soccer legionnaire, and we have all due papers proving legality of his property. They [Prosecutors’ office] were perfectly aware of origin of the money - it was located at banking account in Italy and Ukraine; the further money destination was also clear-money was transferred to Kaladze’s accounts in Georgia. As to circulation, evidences on GEL 900 thousand is clear and where the remainder money went is up to Kaladze alone, it was taken as cash  and spent – that is no outlaw. Prosecutors’ announcement put irrelevant expense figures and Kaladze  is ready to make all his private expenses transparent and disclose all figures within these days.”

Experts say money-laundering cases are too complicated and a mere suspect cannot lay ground to investigation and property arrest.

“Money laundering can be doubted only in case if money transaction is made between two different entities and does not cover transfers implemented between two personal accounts of one private person,” Ditrikh Muller, an economic and legal expert with Georgian Investment Group, said. “And is Kaladze supposed to get a fortune at offshore zones and suspicious business? He was a well-paid soccer player after all and all his property is legal. That’s a shame.”

Sopo Verdzeuli, a lawyer with Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, finds Prosecutors’ arguments [released in official statement] insufficient for illicit income suspect and property arrest.

“The property arrest is a proved presumption standard that requires clear/strong evidences of crime that is absent in Prosecutors’ announcement. The key argument should be a proof that the questioned [Kaladze’s] property was acquired illicitly. Prosecutors’ claim lacks this evidence. Besides, it does not include exact timelines of money circulation. All that makes insufficient ground for arresting the property,” she told GJ.

Kaladze appealed the investigation board court of appellations on July 27 however on July 30 certain Nikoloz Margvelashvili, an ordinary employee of the chancellery of the first instance civil court, denied Kaladze in the right of appellation. The official writ explanation was that Kaladze is not an accused person and his claim on appellation cannot be met.

Tadumadze assures that Margvelashvili exceeded his competence as discussion of claims and responding on them is up to the appellation board.

According to Verdzeuli, the denial is in line with legal framework officially for Kaladze cannot be discussed as a side since he is not accused so far, but as the practice shows the court at its subjective discretion allows some non-accused people to appeal the appellation. She recommends this kind of selective approach to be changed, however Verdzeuli believes the key infringement in denial affair is that an ordinary staff employee of civil court assumed responsibilities [to respond] of judges.

“Perhaps the appellation claim did not reach the judges at all,” she presumes.

“That means Kaladze is deprived of the appellation right,” Tadumadze claims and plans to appeal to Prosecutors’ office to appeal the court to lift the illegal arrest on accounts.

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