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Director General of Rustavi 2 and Other Detainees to be Bailed Out

Published: December 22, 2012 | 12:31 pm
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The COMMERCIAL TIMES

Director General of Rustavi 2 broadcasting company Nika Gvaramia, former Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri as well as other persons who were detained for alleged corruption on December 19 were released on bail after the decision made by Tbilisi City Court.

Gvaramia and Khetaguri, also a partner at a business consulting company GDC Solutions Kakha Damenia will have to pay GEL 30 000 for bail out while the other detainees Devi Kandelaki, who by then was CEO of Telasi’s daughter companies Khramhesi 1, Khramhesi 2 and Mtkvari Energy and founders of L and F Service LTD Company Giorgi Nemsitsveridze and Izabela Gutidze will have to pay each GEL 15 000.

The defendants were given 20 days to pay the bails. They will leave the facilities as soon as they pay their bails.

Pre-trial hearing is scheduled in January, 2013.

Earlier, the investigation service of the ministry of finance said in the official statement that in summer, 2012 then Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri entered into a corrupt deal with Telasi through which the electricity distributor in the capital city and three of its daughter companies were able to evade “paying tens of millions of Lari in taxes” in exchange of paying USD 1 million.

According to MOF’s investigations service, then energy minister Khetaguri was approached by Vadim Mityushin, a representative of Inter RAO, the Russian power trader which owns Telasi, and offered to strike an agreement with the state to prevent tax scrutiny of Telasi and three of its power generation companies – Khramhesi 1; Khramhesi 2 and Mtkvari Energy.

Georgian authorities have claimed that Devi Kandelaki, who by then was CEO of Telasi’s daughter companies Khramhesi 1, Khramhesi 2 and Mtkvari Energy, was involved in “this illegal negotiations”, who “offered Alexander Khetaguri USD 1 million as a bribe in exchange of securing the state consent on launching talks on tax agreement.”

“Khetaguri accepted this proposal,” MOF’s investigations service said in a statement.

It said that Khetaguri asked his associate Nika Gvaramia, who was deputy chief prosecutor in 2007, Justice Minister in 2008 and education minister till late 2009, to engage in talks with Kandelaki and elaborate a scheme to receive USD 1 million.

Gvaramia became chief executive of one of the leading Georgian television stations, Rustavi 2, in mid-November.

The authorities have claimed that Gvaramia asked his friend Giorgi Nemsitsveridze to register a shell company, Elendef Service, which became a recipient of USD 1 million from Telasi and its daughter companies under a sham deal as if in exchange for providing consultancy. The authorities have claimed that Nemsitsveridze withdraw funds on August 30, 2012 and handed them over to Nika Gvaramia. Nemsitsveridze has also been arrested.

The investigations service of the MOF also alleged that Gvaramia asked his friend Kakha Damenia, a partner at GDC Solutions, to get involved in the scheme by striking contract with Elendef Service and to act as a sham sub-contractor in providing consultancy to Telasi and its daughter companies.

 

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