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Georgia

Georgian Opposition Tycoon Fined $90 Million

Bidzina Ivanishvili speaking at the rally on June 10.
Bidzina Ivanishvili speaking at the rally on June 10.
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By RFE/RL's Georgian Service
TBILISI -- The Tbilisi City Court has imposed a multimillion-dollar fine on the billionaire leader of the opposition Georgian Dream bloc of parties.

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

Georgia's Audit Chamber accused Ivanishvili of "illegally buying votes" by distributing thousands of free satellite antennas to citizens so that they could watch Ivanishvili's TV-9 television channel.

Ivanishvili's lawyer Eka Beselia told journalists that the court's decision was politically motivated, adding that she plans to appeal.

The court’s decision was announced while Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream is getting ready for parliamentary elections in October.

Ivanishvili has said he intends to run for president next year, when incumbent Mikheil Saakashvili's second term ends.

The Georgian Dream coalition gathered thousands of people on June 10 for a mass rally in Kutaisi, the largest city in western Georgia, moving their parliamentary elections campaign to the regions.

The businessman, who is worth an estimated $6.4 billion, promised to cut unemployment, boost industry, raise pensions, and improve social welfare, blaming Saakashvili for the state's problems.

Opinion polls however suggest that his alliance trails the governing party. 

Ivanishvili was stripped of his Georgian passport for violating citizenship laws after announcing his decision to enter politics.

The elections are due to take place in autumn.

WIth reporting by Interfax, AFP, and Reuters
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
June 11, 2012 14:13
opposition to US-supported freedom fighter Saakashvilli? How could that be? Hasn't he already jailed, or stripped of citizenship every opposition figure? Even the jail guards in rump dictatorship of Georgia are paid for by US government
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 12, 2012 20:28
It would require much larger "Jack" than you to lift
The 1/7-th of planet 150 Millions "ass" of Vanka-theaf,
Genocidal expansionist-breeder, to the level of "liberator".
USA is checks and ballances of American Revolution beef,
Constitution, Bill of Rights and competing greedy "alligators".

Just opposite, too small "Jack" for too big biggot Russia "ass",
Invaded and genocidized in parts, small Georgia does its best.
Pushing for illusion of Civil War get Russian invasion agentura
Found just few Georgians-Quislings, foreign Citizens, or gests,
Mildly paying for braking law and betraying Georgia abreviatura.

by: Ben
June 11, 2012 21:26
The Georgian opposition main goal ist the open secret: to make friends with Russia.Everybody knows it but RFE/RL! Do you believe
in this shameful lie? Of course no! RFE knows this better than you.
It could explain all the Georgian opposition policy as twice two is four, but somebody is against it,understand?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 12, 2012 20:52
Georgia is not against be friends with Russia, neither am I.
Russia is no friend, it always betray other nations and spy.
Specially Georgia, its own creator. Since time of Visantine
And two millions Mongol Armies they brought, kill them all,
Till 18-th and 20-th centuries's betrayl and cleansing goal,
Grabbing 20% of reminder, Vanka try turn rest into a hole.

At best the opposition - as the "Ben" possibly suggesting,
Threated kindly by democratic Georgia, avoiding slendery
And mayby some think Russians may be less genociding
If opposition will meet invading armies of death with flatery.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 12, 2012 06:10
Wow, look what the global financial crisis is doing to people: now even Mischa is in favour of making the rich pay :-))).
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 12, 2012 21:04
Misha always made rich pay - changeing punishment for rich,
Comparing to blood-thirsdy Russian Bolshevics, to pragmatic
And helping national revival - returning of stolen money, which
Still are working. Vankashvili pay for illegaly bying Georgia-end.

by: Anonymous
June 13, 2012 07:18
Looks like a rat, and a dangerous man.

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