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Banking Mistake, Evil Joke or a Political Revenge?

31.07.2012

Members of the Georgian Dream’ Lanchkhuti office have debt of 1 million lari in the Bank of Georgia. 

Nino Mshvidobadze, Guria

Leaders of the Lanchkhuti office of the Georgian Dream and participants of the program “Kardakari” {polls to check voters’ lists] were fined with 1 million lari. They are: head of regional office Soso Bolkvadze, authoritative members of the coalition: Elguja Chkhaidze, Roman Bitsadze and other office staff.

Humanrights.ge got in touch with Roman Bitsadze, head of Lanchkhuti office of the Republic Party of Georgia and authoritative representative of the Coalition. Roman Bitsadze has an account in the Bank of Georgia.

“I had to pay monthly fee of my loan in the bank and having received a message from the bank I went to the bank to pay the money. But there I found out that I owe 1 million lari to the bank. Having checked my plastic card I saw I had a debt of 999 954 lari on it. Before that, I had 40 lari on my account and they had cut it off. Then I was provided with official information that no sequestration was detected on my account but it states that this is the current (July 27) situation on my account. We are told it was operator’s mistake but I cannot understand why they could not improve this mistake for such a long time?! I think it is political revenge – why this incident happened particularly with us – members of the Georgian Dream?” Roman Bitsadze wondered.

Veteran Shota Pirtskhalaishvili, member of the Georgian Dream, learned about his debts in the bank when he had arrived there to get his salary. He was participant of the Program “Kardakari” and went to the bank to take his salary. Having learned about the debt he felt bad and bank staff called ambulance to aid him. The doctor said Shota Pirtskhalaishvili had breathing problems because of nervous stress, he had lost power in his right hand and leg that was result of failed blood circulation in the brain. The doctor said it could end with brain insult. However, timely medical assistance avoided this threat.

“I felt so bad that they called ambulance. I hardly escaped brain insult when checking my plastic card. I was participant of the Kardakari program and went to the bank to get my salary. But bank clerk told me I had a debt. They said it was technical mistake and promised programmers will eradicate it in near future; hopefully I survive death meanwhile. By the way, my case is exceptional – I have a debt of 1 billion lari to the bank. Apparently, I am too important person. Of course, it is connected with my political activities; I cannot say anything else,” Shota Pirtskhalaishvili told humanrights.ge

Lili Ebralidze, activist of the Georgian Dream, also has a debt in the bank. “I am not participant of the Program “Kardakari”. But I wanted to open an account in the Bank of Georgia. Although I am not using plastic card, I needed the account hoping some day my salary will be transferred there. Lately, I learned that I had a debt – one lari less than 1 billion lari. Although I received an official notification from the bank that my property is not sequestered for that reason, I am still in debts. They said it was mistake but nobody has improved it.” 

On Monday, July 30, Shota Pirtskhalaishvili held a protest rally in front of Lanchkhuti office of the Bank of Georgia. He requested the bank to timely eradicate the problem or he would start a hunger-strike despite his health problems. “Doctors said hunger will destroy my health but I have no way out. I have a billion lari debts to the bank and of course I cannot pay it. So, I will start hunger strike here,” Pirtskhalaishvili said.

By the way, he paid 99 tetri to the bank and this amount was cut off his debt: “It proves there is no mistake. If it is a mistake, why the bank operation was carried out? So, I have 99 tetri less debt now,” the respondent said who added that other members of the Georgian Dream’s local office will join his rally from July 31.

Manager of the Lanchkhuti district service center # 153 of the Bank of Georgia Mikheil Balanchivadze told humanrights.ge that it was operators’ mistakes and the head office will soon eradicate the problem. However, it is fact that members of the Georgian Dream’s Lanchkhuti office still have debts of 1 million or 1 billion lari on their accounts.

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