Thursday, July 24, 2014


Georgia

Georgian Tycoon Turned Opposition Leader Refuses To Pay Multimillion Fine

Georgia -- Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgian Dream action in Kutaisi, 10Jun2012
Georgia -- Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgian Dream action in Kutaisi, 10Jun2012
The billionaire leader of Georgia’s opposition coalition, Bidzina Ivanishvili, says he will not pay multimillion-dollar fines imposed on him by the Tbilisi City Court.

On June 13, Ivanishvili called the court’s June 11 decision absurd and stated that he was not going to pay the fines.

Also on June 13, Ivanishvili's lawyer Eka Beseliaon described the decisions as "lawlessness" on the part of the authorities and said an appeal had been filed.

Ivanishvili was fined more than $90 million on June 11 after the court found him guilty of "violating Georgia's electoral and political funding laws."

The court’s decision was announced as Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition is preparing for parliamentary elections in October.

Earlier, Ivanishvili had expressed his intention to run for president when incumbent Mikheil Saakashvili's second term ends next year.

With reporting by Guria News, RFE/RL's Georgian Service, and Interfax
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by: William Courtney from: Washington DC
June 15, 2012 02:43
It is important that honest elections and the rule of law take greater hold in Georgia. Stripping the citizenship of a potential political opponent and then fining him the incredible sum of over ninety million dollars sends a disappointing message. Friends of Georgia in the West hope for democratic change. It is especially important that Georgia differentiate itself by being more democratic than certain other countries in the former Soviet Union.

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