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IDPs Will Not Be Evicted Anymore

18.06.2007
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IDPs residing in the hotel “Kutaisi” in the center of the city for nearly fifteen years do not face the danger of eviction anymore. Kutaisi Regional Court satisfied the motion of the IDPs’ lawyer who demanded to stop the eviction process of the people from the hotel and the owner of the hotel was seized of its power.

The hotel “Kutaisi” with 300 IDPs residing in it was sold out at the price of 355 thousand USD at the tender. Interinvest Ltd became a new owner of the hotel. The contract, signed by the investor and the Ministry of Economics stated that if the hotel owner starts a reconstruction of the building, the owner must provide current inhabitants with alternative accommodations or they must be compensated with corresponding sum.

The contract was violated. A representative of the Interinvest was trying to force the IDPs to leave the building over the course of several months.  He offered them 4,500 USD as compensation. The IDPs could not accept the offer, and they subsequently held demonstrations.

Despite the resistance, representatives of the Interinvest Ltd started reconstruction of the building. They surrounded the hotel area with the fence and stated that very soon IDPs would not be permitted to live in the hotel.

“Before the trial, they did their best to force us out of the building.  Together with the hotel administration, they cut every kind of utility – water, electricity etc. We could not use the telephone, either. However, we did not give in and said continued to hold firm on our position that we would not leave the hotel for 4,500USD. Before the trial, representative of Interinvest tried to persuade us to withdraw our suit. Finally, when the court passed a verdict in our favor, the owners started to insult us,” said Lamara Mikiashvili, an IDP. She had applied to the Human Rights Center’s Kutaisi office for help several times.

The IDPs state that after the trial, representatives of the Interinvest surrounded the hotel with a fence. However, the IDPs remained where they were.

Interinvest was prohibited to evict IDPs according to the law. Besides that, the company could not carry out repairs. “We have appealed against the purchase contract, which was drawn up illegally. There are number of violations in it, which resulted in the above-mentioned problems,” said Murman Kamadadze, a lawyer for IDPs who stated that the hotel owner could not evict the IDPs from the building on the basis of these violations.

“The Law on IDPs” defines that the government must do its best to improve the living conditions of IDPs and not worsen it.  In this particular case, these people learned about their future eviction from the newspaper. One could not have imagined a worse situation,” said Kamadadze.

Administrative Bureau of the Tbilisi City Court is about to discuss the case on IDPs residing in the hotel “Kutaisi” in the nearest future. The IDPs hope that the appeals court will protect them and pass a final judgment in their favor.

  Shorena Kakabadze, Kutaisi

 

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