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Tbilisi Mayor and Vice-Mayor Mentioned in Testimonies of Pardoned Woman

18.04.2012

News Agency “Pirveli”

President Saakashvili pardoned Nana Esekia, head of Ltd Barnov, one of the leading figures in the case of Korean investor Shel O Pack, who had misappropriated a property of 1 million USD in Georgia.

The source reported to the news agency “Pirveli” that Esekia was among those seven women who were pardoned by the President on St. George Holiday in November, 2011. The source also added that it was not surprise for Esekia because she believed she was “government’s ally”.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the case was about Korean investor, who had misappropriated 1 Million USD property, which was legalized by Esekia through camouflaging the crime.

Law enforcement officers arrested the head of the Ltd Barnovi on August 20, 2011. The criminal case was launched against her under Article 180 and 194 of the Criminal Code of Georgia that envisaged imprisonment up to 12 years.

According to unofficial information, Nana Esekia successfully cooperated with investigation that resulted into minor punishment and finally in pardoning.

The source alleges that she mentioned Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava and Vice-Mayor Mamuka Akhvlediani in her testimony.

According to the same source, Esekia spoke about her cooperation with the Tbilisi City Hall during her statement and noted that part of sum extorted from the Korean investor was envisaged for the Tbilisi Mayor; however, the investigation was not launched in this direction; at least officially it did not happen. In exchange of silence, Esekia was promised to be sentenced to slight punishment and finally would be early released.

Nana Esekia was assumed to be a member of a “criminal group” of former MP Nikoloz Kvezereli.

The latter has a very interesting biography. Early in 1990s he was head of Georgian US trained riot police “Omega”. Later, he was judged for the terrorist act organized against the ex-president Shevardnadze together with the former security ministry officers and leaders of paramilitary group Mkhedrioni. The terrorist act occurred on August 29, 1995 near the IMEL Building (Tbilisi, formerly parliament building) when Shevardnadze’s car was exploded. Shevardnadze and his companions Vakhtang Rcheulishvili and Petre Mamradze survived the accident. Nikoloz Kvezereli was convicted at the so-called century trial. The founders of the Mkhedrioni – Jaba Ioseliani and Giga Gelashvili, Minister of Interior Temur Khachishvili, commander of the riot police Alpa Guram Papukashvili and others were judged together with him. Nikoloz Kvezereli was early released and later he became independent MP from Sagarejo district. It was quite unacceptable fact for the society because according to that-time election system nobody could win elections without the support of the government.

On August 6, 2011 officers of the Constitutional Security Department of the MIA and prosecutor’s office arrested Nikoloz Kvezereli again. According to case materials, Kvezereli had extorted 10 000 USD for the failed auction of Korean investor’s property.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation concluded that in 2009 Kvezereli got hold of the investor’s car Infinite – market price 40 000 USD. During detention, Kvezereli resisted the law enforcement officers.

Investigations of Nikoloz Kvezereli and Nana Esekia’s cases were conducted in different directions.

“As far as I know, initially the investigation on Esekia’s case was going very slowly but later she cooperated with the investigation and instead the real punishment, she was sentenced to two-year-imprisonment. According to my information, she is already free,” Vazha Arobelidze, Kvezereli’s lawyer told the Pirveli.

The Tbilisi City Court sentenced Kvezereli to 11-year-imprisonment. At the Appeal Court the defense side signed plea-agreement with the prosecutor’s office; the convicted pleaded guilty at the Appeal Court, though he refused to plead guilty at the City Court, and his imprisonment was reduced to five years. He serves his term for the prison of former law enforcement officers.

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