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Georgian Citizen Appeals Against US Government

10.05.2007
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Argument between sixty-nine-year-old Omar Bachiashvili, a resident of Akhmeta, and the US Government has lasted for eight years already. Bachaishvili demanded 9 000 USD from the US Government because he claimed it was the pension of his late father. Although he received a part of the sum, he is now demanded to return part of the amount back. The Georgian citizen is about to go on with the argument in the USA.

The history started in the Second World War II. Omar Bachiashvili’s father, Shalva Bachiashvili was seized hostage in Kerchi in 1941. Soon he was taken to German concentration camp. Finally, being afraid of Communist regime, the father could not return to Georgia. In 1957 he petitioned to the US Government for political asylum and he was granted with. Shalva Bachiashvili lived in Chicago and was legal migrant with the status of permanent resident. He worked hard in a workshop and consequently his health worsened because of hard job. He purchased a house in America, was granted with American pension and medical insurance. Thirty-six years later, in 1977, he arrived in Georgia as a tourist to visit his only son and wife. However, because of poor health he could not return back to America. He died thirty months later in Georgia. Subsequently he lost his pension and the house too.

After that time Omar Bachiashvili started struggle to receive American pension and house of his father. He started to gather documents to prove the history and sent letters to America and Athens. He has sent letters to American Embassy in Georgia, to Georgian Embassy in America and to many public officials from American Government, such as Senator McCain. 

The list of the letters sent to America is the following: 1. a letter to Senator McCain where Bachiashvili describes his history in details and hopes that the senator will get interested in his problem; 2. a letter to Richard Miles, US Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Georgia. Bachiashvili received a reply from Miles where he stated that the embassy will send the letter to the US Public Security Administration, which is independent law enforcement agency that is in charge to investigate similar violations. The Ambassador also advised Bachiashvili to get in touch with Richard Durbin or Peter Fitzgerald, State Senators. Three letters were sent to Athens Region Federal Benefits Officer, Bertha Terry, who sent a reply to Bachiashvili on August 16 2005. The reply states that she had received a letter and urged the US Social Insurance Administration to prepare all necessary documents on applicant. She also appreciates Bachiashvili’s patience and demands four more weeks to find out additional information. 4. a protest letter to Burnel Hurt, an Associate Commissioner for Central Operation Office in Baltimore; 5. Several letters were sent to American Embassy in Athens from where those letters were sent to America. Thus, Embassy in Athens acted as a mediator between Bachiashvili and the US Government; 6. A letter to International Affairs Department within the US Justice Department, personally to Rick Dowel; 7. A letter to Beka Dvali, Georgian Council to the USA.

In the result of above-mentioned correspondence, Bachiashvili received a part of his father’s pension; however he informed the journalist for the Human Rights Center that he had not received complete pension and applied to the lawyer for the center for help.
     
Omar Bachiashvili said that, “I have been fighting for the justice for eight years. Finally they sent me part of the pension. My father was granted with the pension of 350 USD a month and the total debt to the retired man amounted to more than 9 000 USD. That money was a great sum years before and equals to present 100 000 USD. They have sent 5 700 USD to me in total. Initially, in 2001 I received 1 794 USD and in 2003 I received 3 719 USD.  That sum was sent by the US Social Security Administration in Baltimore City.”

“Despite that, my problem has not been resolved yet. At present I demand the difference of inflation-devaluation of my father’s pension; I demand the percent of the bank (because it used the money during 25 years); I also demand the house which belonged to my father. My father used to write letters to corresponding bodies in Moscow, but he died and could not manage to return the property.”
Bachiashvili is going to apply to American Court and looks for a lawyer in America. One point of the appeal is a letter he received from the Social Security Administration where he was demanded to return 3 700 USD back.

The letter of Carolyn Simons, Commissioner of the Central Operation Department, states that Bachiashvili must return 3 710 USD within thirty days. Bachiashvili received a special envelope where he should have placed the money to send to America. The letter states that if Bachiashvili could not send the total money, he should send part of it and enclose detailed information why he could not send the total sum. Bachiashvili was also advised to introduce the US Government with the plan of sending the money back. The letter also stated that if Bachiashvili did not agree with the demand he could appeal to the court within 60 days.

Loretta Terry, representative of the US Federal Benefit Department, sent a letter to Bachiashvili on November 17 2005 where she explained that the US Government demands the money back from Georgian citizen on the basis of mistake. They claimed that the man was sent extra money.

Bachiashvili sent a protest letter in reply where he gave detailed information how much money he must have received and he demanded the US Government to send him illegally detained 1 197 USD.  
 
At present Bachiashvili is looking for a lawyer in the USA. “An American person, whom I have known for a long time, asked me to send him all materials on my case. He might find some lawyer for me in America who will assist me. The discussion of the case must go on in American Court. The most significant is the fact that the Social Security Administration demands 3 700 USD back from me,” said Bachiashvili.

In 2007, Bachiashvili signed a notary act with the lawyer for the Human Rights Center and Davit Managadze has become an attorney for the man. Managadze said that the success of the case depends on the legal agency in America which will take responsibility to investigate the situation.

Dato Managadze: “This person has a close person in America with whom he can write to. That person promised Bachiashvili to find Law Firm which will take responsibility of the case investigation. We represent Bachaishvili in Georgia and will have contact with American Law Firm in future. The case should be resolved at the place. It is too complicated situation and the lawyer might demand more than 50 000 USD for the assistance. Besides that we must find out whether the American lawyer demands the payment in advance or afterwards. As for us, we will draw up all legal instruments on Bachiashvili’s legal demands in Georgia and then we will send those legal instruments to American Law Firm. They will discuss our demands under their legislation and decide whether to take responsibility of the case investigation or not. The investigation needs great sums.”

Human Rights Center tried to receive some information from the US Embassy in Georgia but the officials from the Embassy refuse to make any comments on the situation.

Eka Gulua  

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