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Georgian Tycoon Turned Opposition Leader Refuses To Pay Multimillion Fine

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