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Government Disrespects Private Property

29.11.2006
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Former Councilor of Abastumani District, Anton Merabishvili, and local businessman, Genadi Endeladze, had their property, the hotel 'Abastumani' and the resort-house 'Aghobili', turned over to the government. The deed was drawn up, and the hotel and the resort-house were transferred to the state. The former owners refused to comment.

The deed was drawn up transferring the property [located in Abastumani district] to the Adigeni District Property Registration Department. [Abastumani and Adigeni districts are both located in Samtskhe-Javakheti Region.] The notary report was registered on October 30, 2006. According to the agreement, the former owners agreed to a transfer of the resort-house 'Aghobili' and the hotel 'Abastumani' to the district.

"Anton Merabishvili and Genadi Endeladze transferred the hotel and the resort house to Adigeni District, because they could not run the property properly," said Vazha Merabishvili, the head of the Adigeni District Privatization Department.

Governor of the Samtskhe-Javakheti Region, Goga Khachidze, also spoke about legal confiscation. "I know there were some violations in how the property was purchased. The two owners should be responsible for these violations. That's why they had their property confiscated. I think it was fair," said Samtskhe-Javakheti Region Governor.
In 1999, Endeladze bought the administrative building of the Georgian Tourist Association that was rebuilt as a hotel for 4,800 GEL. Resort-house 'Aghobili' and the plot surrounding the building were valued at 38,700 USD.

Regarding the government seizure of the property, Endeladze and Merabishvili refused to comment.   Although the former owners refused, many others wanted to talk about the seizure.  "It is a kind of governmental oppression by the state and the law. Genadi Endeladze and Anton Merabishvili are so afraid that they would not say anything. Initially, Anton Merabishvili categorically opposed the transfer of the property to the district. But later, he was cuffed and forced into a car and very soon changed his mind. He called his wife, in whose name the entity was registered, and asked her to sign the deed. This controversy started in August during the fire. Genadi Endeladze and Goga Khachidze had an argument. Dozens of people witnessed the incident. Genadi Endeladze told the regional governor, 'What have you done in the district? I have not seen anything done here.'  At that time, the former district governor, Anton Merabishvili, took Endeladze's side in argument. This argument resulted in the confiscation," said Abastumani district resident, who had witnessed the conflict between Khachidze and Endeladze. He did not tell us his name.

"How could Anton Merabishvili and Genadi Endeladze willfully transfer their property to the state? The government forced them to…" said another resident from Abastumani.

There are several other private resort-houses and hotels in the area. Soon the owners of these entities may also transfer their property to the state.

Gulo Kokhodze, Abastumani

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