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Lagodekhi Local Governor Sells Prosecutor’s Office Building

03.08.2006
Lagodekhi Local Governor Sells Prosecutor’s Office Building

 

According to the Georgian Economic Development Ministry’s order #1/552, the regional Prosecutor’s building in the centre of Lagodekhi was included in a list of privatized state assets. The building itself has now been dismantled, in total disregard of the relevant legal requirements, before an auction could be announced. 

According to official information, the price of the building was 9,000GEL. The ground floor belonged to the Cultural Department and the first floor to the Prosecutor’s Office. We have been informed; the Lagodekhi District Authority and MP Guram Kakalashvili intended to build a sports ground in its place and hurriedly transferred the building from one owner to another.

The Lagodekhi office of the Georgian Property Registration and Privatization Department was charged with the privatization and sale of the building to Omar Rekhviashvili, who lives in the Lagodekhi Region in the village of Giorgeti. This was to be achieved through the dismantling of the building and its transfer to Omar Rekhviashvili, who the local authority desired become the new owner. It must be pointed out that the Lagodekhi Regional Administrative Board keeps from giving away any information about the case.

“This building was bought by my brother and I am only dismantling it, I know nothing more. What is the problem with the auction not being held yet and us having begun dismantling it? Go and ask them and find out there, what comment can I give you?” declares Omar Rekhviashvli’s brother, Nodar Rekhviashvili, who has been dismantling the building himself for more than two weeks.

The illicit dismantling of the building is confirmed by Jondo Koberidze, chief of the Georgian Property Registration and Privatization Department’s Lagodekhi office. “The Lagodekhi Prosecutor’s Office building was added to the privatization list by the Economic Development Ministry in June 2006.The Ministry sent only a direction to us and we were ordered to privatize it by dismantling it. They needed this place to build a big sports ground on it. As far as I know, Davit Namgalauri, head of the Sport Department, promised the Regional Authority to build the ground if they have cleared the space by the 1st August, otherwise his department will begin to build the sports ground in another region, as they are short on time and builders are prevented from starting work on another project. Local architects valued the building at 3,000GEL. ….It is right that an auction has not been announced yet, but dismantling the building has already begun and it is beyond my competence to stop it and cannot answer you.  I do not know who ordered them to dismantle the building. Such an agreement has not made with us. Dismantling of the building is illegal, but I cannot do anything,” points out Jondo Koberidze and adds that “it is true that the auction has not started yet, but we have inquired into the case and nobody expressed a desire to buy it.”

According to our information, Omar Rekhviashvili, took permission to dismantle the building from Tamaz Godziashvili, a regional councilor, long before a date was fixed for the auction. Rekhviashvili paid 3,000GEL to certain bodies and it is said that he has earned even more money by selling second hand construction materials.

Tamaz Godziashvili, a Lagodekhi regional councilor, did not comment on this question with the Human Rights Centre. His first Deputy, Giorgi Ghviniashvili, also keeps from officially commenting on the question, though in private talks he points out that if they discussed this question openly, “Namgalauri would be offended and he would not build a sports ground in Lagodekhi”. Our question is - what would happen if an auction was held tomorrow and a person appeared who is willing to pay more for the building, he answered, “the building has been completely dismantled and who would need it, besides there would not be anyone to want to buy it”(?!)

Tsiala Aladashvili, the Lagodekhi Regions Chief Architect declared that the Lagodekhi Prosecutors office building was valued at 5,500GEL instead of 3,000GEL by local services. “Nowadays the list price of the building is 9,000GEL. I was charged with inspecting the building by Tamaz Godziashvili. The inspection showed that 45% of the building was in need of repair. After that the revaluation was 5,500GEL. I reported to the councilor about it. According to my documents, the privatization price of the building was 5,500GEL but who said differently, I have no idea. Nobody asked me to draw an estimate, although it is necessary for privatization,” declares regional Chief Architect Tsiala Aladashvili. According to her, it is also necessary to have a Georgian General Prosecutor’s agreement to transfer the ownership of the building from one person to another, as the building was under the Prosecutor’s name. 

This is interesting for one other reason too: 12,000GEL was spent on painting the buildings façade from regional budget last year, and a year later the building, valued for 5500GEL, was sold for 3000GEL through a violation of the law. We hope that the relevant bodies will be interested in the case by any means.

Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti

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