Chamber of Control Stunned American Businessman Too
14 June, 2012
Chamber of Control Stunned American Businessman Too

Bidzina Ivanishvili faces scores of millions in fines

Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the Georgian Dream coalition, the main opponent of current Administration, is likely to be fined about 77 million US dollars. Financial Monitoring Service of the Control Chamber released the statement, asserting that “based on the collected case material, physical person Bidzina Ivanishvili with his publicly stated political and election aspirations has been recognized as a perpetrator of legal trespassing.”
The statement also reads: “

the Financial Monitoring Service examined the facts of employing by the political coalition ‘Georgian Dream’ of technical and human resources as well as the means of ‘Burji’, ‘Elita Burji’ and ‘Global Consulting Group’ Companies for political and election purposes. The matter concerns mass, free-of-charge distribution of tens of thousands of satellite antennas and providing discount services of 239 cars of various types to the voters. The monitoring process found the documentary evidence proving that the political coalition was actually using the services of the said companies for election and political purposes. It was illegal because it was pursuing prohibited financial advantage in violation of the organic law on Political Unions of Citizens. The total amount of the money spent, is about 14.5 million Lari. According to the law on Political Unions of Citizens, such violations are punishable with the fine five times the amount spent.”
The Chamber of Control seems to allude to the massive expansion of Global TV network in the regions. To receive the digital TV signal, the local population was offered antennas and receivers at discount or symbolic price through prolonged payment schemes. Global TV is owned by the brother of Bidzina Ivanishvili and is the only provider in Georgia, who integrated the TV Company ‘the Ninth Channel’, belonging to Ivanishvili’s wife, in his service package. All other providers refused to transmit the broadcasting of the Ninth Channel which is licensed to broadcast only via satellite and cable broadcasting.
Davit Abashidze, who holds a certificate from the authoritative institutions (CFA-CFA I), already prepared the situation analysis:
A: The statement presented by the Political Parties’ Financial Monitoring Service of the Chamber of Control made a big mistake about the Global Contact Consulting LTD. Namely, prices of receivers and satellite antennas offered by Global Contact Consulting LTD to its clients were calculated incorrectly. The agreements concluded with every client sets one-year allowance to be followed by 4 Lari monthly payments for nine consecutive years (108 months in total). In overall, the package costs 432. Given the tenyear period, in current prices it will be 216 Lari as opposed to mere 25 Lari claimed in the statement of the chamber. The figure of 216 Lari shall be calculated using the correct formulae.
Archil Kbilashvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Lawyer:
A: This statement of the Control Chamber is based on political, not legal considerations. If the said companies provide their services to the Georgian Dream at discount price, the responsibility for the violation lies with these three companies and persons from the Georgian Dream who were using the violation to their advantage. Please note how the Chamber statement magically shifts its focus on to Bidzina Ivanishvili. In their own words, the case material leads them to the physical person Bidzina Ivanishvili. If this is a legal statement, what baffles me most is how they popped Bidzina Ivanishvili into the case.
Zurab Bazlidze, Development and Marketing Director of Global TV:
A: I wonder how this penalty popped up at all. It’s a business project evaluated to operate for 10 years. It aims to serve subscribers with convenience. We have not received a penny from Bidzina Ivanishvili. The project is run with our own finances and capabilities. Neither do we understand why they are penalizing Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Q: Perhaps it’s because Global TV belongs to the brother of Bidzina Ivanishvili?
A: There’s not only Ivanishvili’s brother there. Global TV is owned by other four people; American Alexander Roznhes among them, who helps us financially. He has already flown over here from America. He is stunned by the nature of problems that we face. Alexander Roznhes is going to make a public statement once he meets with the American Ambassador.
P.S. Later: Tbilisi City Court approved the June 11 decision of the State Audit Service, imposing GEL 126.22 million (about USD 77.24 million) on the leader of Georgian Dream opposition coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili. Ivanishvili may face additional GEL 22.42 million connected with the separate hearing of another case. The alleged violation of party funding rules by Ivanishvili is currently underway at the court.

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