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"I was an Illegal Prisoner"

Luiza Titirashvili, the head of the Kaspi State Property Department, wants to know the reason for her arrest

Luiza Titirashvili, the former head of the Kaspi State Property Department, was released a few months ago from six- month’s pre-trial imprisonment. She told the Human Rights Information and Documentation Center that she had been arrested illegally.

In July 2004 Luiza Titirashvili was charged for negligence for selling the Metekhi Oil Base as scrap iron. Although the former governor, the prosecutor and the police were also indifferent to the sale, they were not charged.

Break Up of Metekhi Oil Base Continues

Who destroyed the Kaspi–Agaiani water pipeline and what was the reason for it? Why was this along with other cases of illegal management of state property hidden? Who gave immunity to the group, which between 2002 and 2004 destroyed the Metekhi Oil Base, the Kaspi Brick Factory, the ‘Mertskuli Ltd’ water pipeline and the Kaspi-Agaiani water pipeline?

In 2002, Otar Cheishvili was undertaking his first month’s obligations as governor when the Executive Bureau sold the Metekhi Oil Base and deconstruction of the base started. The cisterns, rail ways, administration building have all been destroyed.  

Although stockholders attempted to oppose the destruction, they could do nothing. Despite their complaints regarding the appropriation of the property, the dismantling kept on going. In 2002, a stockholder applied to the police, the prosecutor’s office and the court with applications to stop the dismantling of the Oil Base, however, their actions resulted in nothing.

The former governor of the Kaspi region, Otar Cheishvili, told the Human Rights Information and Documentation Center that the owner had the right to dismantle and liquidate their possessions. On the question of whether a certain Jemal Merebashvili was empowered to dismantle the facility, Cheishvili responded that he might have been instructed by the owner to do so, thus, he acted appropriately. Cheishvili also said that since the facility was not under the jurisdiction of the Kaspi region, he was not informed about the developments there.

Luiza Titirashvili states that for 20 months, the investigation failed to find out who she had been charged in place of. She also wonders why property that cost no less than 250,000 sold for 4,000 laris; what was the loss for the stockholders and the state? (49% of the property is owned by the stockholders and state owns 51%)

The stockholders want the new government to become interested in the reasons why, in 2002, neither the police, the prosecutor’s office, high ranking officials such as Aleko Sukhitashvili, the former Chief of the Police Department nor the prosecutor – Amiran Nozadze protected stockholders’ interests. They also want to know how Ramaz Gogiashvili, the Chief of the Kaspi Police Department could afford to build such a ‘huge’ house.  

In 2004, David Tsituri, the regional prosecutor with a revolutionary character, found in himself the skills to fight injustice. However, this affected only Luiza Titirashvili. Tsituri together with the Head of the State Property Department arrested her. According to Tsituri the State Property Department and its Head - Luiza Titirashvili did not inform higher officials about the dismantling of the Metekhi Oil Base, preventing them from responding to the fact. He added that the letter, a copy of which Titirashvili has, cannot be found in the Ministry of Sate Property. “They used the following method: they would make a copy of the document, the original of which was supposed to be sent to the place of destination, however, they never sent it”, claims Tsituri.

Why was the governor, the chief of the police department or the prosecutor not punished? They did not inform any officials, though they all knew the facts.

Brick factory Disappears in Cement Dust

In addition to the Metekhi Oil Base, other facilities in the Kaspi region were sold as a scrap. With regard to the Oil Base, Luiza Titirashvili was charged for negligence - it is a mystery why the others were not held responsible.

In June 2002, the brick factory in the center of Kaspi, being on the books of ‘Kaspi Cement’, disappeared. The inhabitants of Kaspi could ‘see in the dust of the cement’ the city governor - Grigol Gotsiridze. It is hard for them to say whether it was true or a mirage. They also state that having sold the property for 300,000 laris, ‘Gugua’ (Grigol Gotsiridze) was allotted some money for the local elections.

It should be mentioned that it is difficult to get the documentation regarding the above facilities from the Kaspi Administration. The brick factory, 51 % of which belonged to the state, was of no small importance in the Kaspi region; however, nobody has been punished for their indifference.

Saba Tsistikashvili from Gori

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