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Georgian Opposition Tycoon Ivanishvili Fined $1.65 Million

Bidzina Ivanishvili
Georgia's billionaire opposition leader has been fined $1.65 million for illegally funding his own campaign group.

The Chamber of Control, which monitors political financing, said Bidzina Ivanishvili had breached legal procedures while donating to his Georgian Dream movement, which says its goal is to oust President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Last week, two of Ivanishvili's companies were also fined around $2 million for illegally giving money to his campaign under legislation that forbids company donations to political organizations.

Rights group Amnesty International has expressed concern that recent questioning of Ivanishvili supporters by the Chamber of Control could be politically motivated.

The audit body has rejected claims of persecution.

Ivanishvili kicked off his Georgian Dream movement at a public rally in December.

With AFP and Interfax reporting