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Government Impounds Some Assets of the Georgian Opposition Tycoon

Published: June 28, 2012 | 4:47 pm
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Georgian authorities impounded some assets of billionaire opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili on June 27.

According to the National Enforcement Bureau,  Ivanishvili’s 100 % share in Cartu Bank, 21.7 % share in Progress Bank and 100 % share in JSC Cartu Group had been seized after the tycoon’s refusal to pay the fine imposed on him.

Ivanishvili said he no longer owned shares in any Georgian company as he handed them overt o his son. However, state authorities said Ivanishvili was still the owner. “The Georgian Central Bank had not been notified about any changes in ownership of Cartu Bank’s shares as well as Progress Bank’s shares,” the National Enforcement Bureau said in a statement.

“The authorities can seize whatever they want, because they are already acting beyond any legal framework,” Ivanishvili said.

Police seized satellite dishes earlier this month from a company owned by Ivanishvili’s brother and suspected of giving them away to win votes for Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition competing vs President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party in the election.

According to the state audit agency, the free distribution of satellite dishes with a loan from Ivanishvili violated party funding rules, and he was fined with GEL 63.1 million ($37 million). In a separate case, Ivanishvili was fined with GEL 11.2 million, making a total penalty of GEL 74.3 million.

To ease tension, Georgian parliament started debate on reforms to the electoral code that will require all cable providers to carry all channels in the run-up to a parliamentary election in October.

As of March 2012, with Net Worth $6.4 B Ivanishvili ranks 153 on Forbes World’s Billionaires List.





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