30 December, 2010

Former key political competitor loses home

The public outcry caused by the allegations of Badri Bitsadze, husband of former Parliamentary Speaker of Georgia – Nino Burjanadze, published in the press and targeting Levan Gachechiladze, the main political rival of Mikheil Saakashvili during the past presidential elections in Georgia, reached such a magnitude that it can be named as a the biggest political scandal of the passing year.
Let us recollect that during the recent protest rallies Levan Gachechiladze met up

with Saakashvili separately to discuss the political crisis and find ways to solve it. Now – with the recent staggering press revelations of Badri Bitsadze, allegedly Gachechiladze actually bargained with Saakashvili for personal millions in exchange of killing the rally. A letter published in electronic social network by Vasil Maghlaperidze, former associate of current Authorities, and entitled “What Badri Bitsadze’s story tells us” generated many question marks. We approached Vasil Maghlaperidze.
Vasil Maghlaperidze: First I thought of the press narrative of Badri Bitsadze as something of a story. Then I hear that many doubt that Badri Bitsadze said exactly what the press had published. We have the right to know what really happened. Some said decency of Levan Gachechiladze is what must facilitate the search for the truth. However, if we read Bitsadze’s narrative carefully, we would see it is the problem of entire society rather than one person.
As Badri Bitsadze informs about the ill-fated past encounter, Saakashvili told him ‘Grechikha’ (Levan Gachechiladze) was coming and directed Bitsadze to eavesdrop from the adjacent room. Bitsadze did so. After Grechikha left, Bitsadze entered the negotiations room to see Saakashvili showing him a slip of paper and saying “here, read his demands!”
However, It remains unknown what made presidential candidate Saakashvili decide to have somebody eavesdrop on his confidential talks? What was it that presidential candidate Saakashvili found so appealing and reliable about Badri Bitsadze? Why did not they have others, such as MIA Minister Vano Merabishvili, join eavesdropping? Is it that their absence in the eavesdropping room is explained by their presence in another adjacent room for the same eavesdropping purposes? Why do they have Badri Bitsadze eavesdrop separately, instead of joining Merabishvili’s company?
According to Badri Bitsadze, this event took place in the post-election period preceding the inauguration and precipitation of the rallies. Acting President was Nino Burjanadze. There was no secret that she was itching for the post of the president. Naturally, Authorities knew Burjanadze was going to turn the things sour and even join opposition if allowed to go loose. So, they were certainly trying to tame her. It was only the matter of time when Saakashvili and Burjanadze would part. Both were looking forward to the right moment to do it.
In such situation it was logical that the Authorities would fuel Burjanadze’s growing suspicions about the opposition and assure her that the latter was actually ruled by Saakashvili and that she should cherish no hope of finding a single political partner in case she decided to swerve against Saakashvili.
So, this may explain why they involved Badri Bitsadze exactly at the time when Saakashvili trusted Burjanadze the least.
Romans used to say - divide and rule. This is the aim of the author who wrote the article with Bitsadze’s bombastic revelations. I do not know whose brainchild was the scandal but they worked brilliantly to this end!
In parallel with this ongoing uproar, it became known that a bank is set to sell the house of insolvent Levan Gachechiladze. Gia Gachechiladze also has problems with a bank.
Kakha Kukava: I knew Levan and Gia had these problems because I was consulting them as a lawyer. After the press allegations I decided that I had to inform the public about it. As Bitsadze’s story has it, the Gachechiladze family earned millions in 2008. In contrast, I have the documented information that they accrued millions of debts in that period. Their property used to be mortgaged in a bank in 2005, 2006 and 2007. If the Gachechiladzes benefited so much from the deal, why had not they saved their house from a bank auction? In reality, there is an ongoing court case which is likely to end in the eviction edict! The court has already issued a decision on eviction of Levan from his spouse’s house located on Barnov Street. The only thing that stopped the action so far is our legal appeal against the decision.
Q: What property did the Gachechiladzes mortgage in the bank?
A:  It’s Levan’s apartment, his wife’s apartment, and holiday land plots of Gia and Levan in Saguramo. Levan has never mentioned his debts. Instead, I want to raise my voice against ungrounded allegations about mythical millions. The story quoted by Bitsadze is criminal. He himself says that he is an active participant of the crime. It’s interesting why he spoke out about the money laundering and subversive deal with Saakashvili only now, at the end of 2010? What he describes is a fact of organized crime. Badri Bitsadze’s narrative indicates that all these people are entangled in this organized crime. That’s their way of political life.
Why did not he disclose the document, which he asserts he has? But he cannot do it because it never existed. This behavior of Bitsadze is a huge political blunder. It’s a vendetta in response to the statements of former Defense Minister Okruashvili directed against Nino Burjanadze; although it is strange that the response was given to Levan Gachechiladze, instead of Okruashvili.

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