Illegally Confiscated Property to Be Returned to Sulkhan Molashvili’s Family and Two Affected Citizens by Decision of the Prosecution Service of Georgia
By decision of the Department to Investigate Offences Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings, Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, illegally confiscated cottage located in Tsavkisi village will be returned to Sulkhan Molashvili’s family, and unlawfully confiscated 6 vehicles and a plot of land located in Tbilisi will be returned to 2 affected citizens.
The Department has further solved cases of illegal confiscation of property. In particular, the conducted investigation has revealed that on April 23, 2004, the former Chairperson of the Chamber of Control of Georgia Sulkhan Molashvili was arrested as an accused by the Prosecution Service on the count of misuse of official powers. Detention as the measure of constraint was applied against Sulkhan Molashvili, and he was placed in a correctional facility.
In July, 2004, Tornike Molashvili – Sulkhan Molashvili’s brother, was contacted from the Prosecution Service, and in exchange for the replacement of detention applied against Sulkhan Molashvili as the measure of constraint with the non-custodial measure, he was required to buy one of the cottages in Tsavkisi village and thereafter gratuitously transfer it to the state.
Upon being reassured that in the event of execution of the demand Sulkhan Molashvili would be released from custody, Sulkhan Molashvili’s family members: his brother Tornike Molashvili and his spouse Tamta Bakhturidze were forced to agree to fulfil the condition. For this purpose, Sulkhan Molashvili’s family members took loan from a bank and as agreed, on July 14, 2004, bought the cottage located in Tsavkisi Village, and on the same day, gratuitously transferred the cottage to the state. Despite the fact that Sulkhan Molashvili’s family members had executed the demand, the measure of constraint applied against Sulkhan Molashvili had not been replaced and he had not been released from custody.
In 2006, Gia Okruashvili rightfully bought a land plot with an area of 480 square meters located in Gldani 1st Microdistrict, Tbilisi, with the help of his friend Vakhtang Meskhi.
On December 01, 2010, officers of the Investigation Unit of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia arrested Vakhtang Meskhi on charges of fraud. Officers of the Prosecution System told Vakhtang Meskhi that conclusion of a plea bargain with him on suspended sentence would be possible only in case he paid GEL 50 000 as fine and his friend Gia Okruashvili gratuitously conceded the land plot with an area of 480 square meters bought by the latter, for the benefit of the state, otherwise he would face a severe punishment.
As a result of the psychological pressure exerted by the Prosecution Service, Gia Okruashvili had gratuitously conceded the land plot with an area of 480 square meters owned by him, whereupon, plea bargain was concluded with his friend Vakhtang Meskhi on suspended sentence and a fine in the amount of GEL 50 000 was imposed on him.
In November, 2011, Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia arrested Giorgi Ghonghadze, Director of Aquarium LLC for making forged tax document. In the course of investigation, in exchange for his release from custody and conclusion of a plea bargain, representatives of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia illegally caused the businessman in custody - Giorgi Ghonghadze to buy 6 Hyundai model vehicles at a price of GEL 240 000, which were then gratuitously transferred to the state as a gift. The plea agreement on suspended sentence was then signed with the accused.
On the basis of summary decisions taken by the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, the Prosecution Service of Georgia will file a motion with the Ministry of Economic and Sustainable Development of Georgia in order for the property currently owned by the state to be returned to the aforementioned affected citizens by the Georgian Government Decree. Specifically, cottage located in Tsavkisi village shall be returned to Sulkhan Molashvilis’s spouse Tamta Bakhturidze; 6 Hyundai model vehicles shall be returned to the businessman Giorgi Ghonghadze, and the plot of land with an area of 480 square meters located in Gldani 1st Microdistrict, Tbilisi, shall be returned to Gia Okruashvili.
As for the former public officials involved in the illegal confiscation of property, given the degree of their cooperation with investigation, exercising its discretionary powers, the Prosecution Service will not initiate criminal proceedings against them.
By now, as a result of the work performed by the new Department, 47 cases of illegal confiscation of property have been solved and 84 citizens have been recognized as victims. Up to 18 million Georgian Laris worth of movable and immovable property, including 71 vehicles, residential apartments, office and commercial premises, a wine factory, a swimming complex, land plots, etc. have been and are being returned to such affected citizens.