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Secret about Geno Malazonia’s Detention

25.05.2010
Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli

The Tax Department started to inspect the JSC “Energy Invest” in April of 2010. A month later, Georgian media sources actively reported about detention of the director of the JSC Geno Malazonia; he is in pre-trial detention at the moment. After his detention, every employee of the enterprise “Nitric”, subordinated to the “Energy Invest”, received special directives – not to give interviews to journalists.

In order to prevent the employees of the “Nitric” from protecting their former director, a copy of document providing the information about Malazonia’s salary was distributed among them. In the document only Malazonia’s salary was indicated. Readers cannot identify the amount of salaries of other administration members.

Georgian media focuses on the fact that the JSC “Energy Invest” is Russian Company. Georgian-Russian JSC “Energy Invest” was founded in 2004. 58 % of the shares belong to the Russian “Intergazinvest” and “Interinvest”. The rest shares are distributed among Georgian owners. The main financial donor of the company is Russian “Vneshtorbank” who owns the actives in the Georgia based bank “VTB Georgia.” The employees of the “Nitric” get salaries in that bank. In 2005, “Energy Invest” purchased “Nitric” in Rustavi. On January 23, 2006 JSC “Energy Invest” opened an air-turbine electro station in Gardabani. The Tax Department detained Malazonia because of his activities exactly in that station.

According to official version, 36-year-old Malazonia is accused in illegal industrial activities. The prosecutor alleges that in 2006 Energy Invest gained the license on producing the electricity in Georgia. Investigator Giorgi Kondakhashvili stated that Malazonia, together with the employees of the company, started illegal accountancy and breached license requirements. From 2006 to present he was carrying out illegal industrial activities and misappropriated more than 165 million GEL through illegal accountancy. The investigation claims that the accusation is proved by the accounting documents.

People, knowing the relationship between the government and Malazonia, were surprised at his detention. During each election, Malazonia was guarantee for the government to make the employees of the “Nitric” enterprise to vote for the ruling party. He used to give directives to his employees to vote for the candidates of the ruling party if they wanted to keep their jobs. Consequently, it is really strange why such an important ally was declared a criminal before the upcoming municipal elections.

There are several unofficial versions about Malazonia’s detention in Rustavi. According to one of them, Malazonia’s detention is connected with his fatal meeting with the former prime- minister Zurab Noghaideli in Armenia. However, there is no video-recording of this meeting. The only thing that can be connected with the version is active work of the Rustavi office of Zurab Noghaideli’s party “Movement for the Just Georgia”.

During the last two months, the representatives of Noghaideli’s party in Kvemo Kartli region stated at their press-conferences that the rights of the workers in the enterprise “Nitric” are breached. Even one part of the workers went on strike but people of Noghaideli did not meet them. They did not want the social protest to be declared politically motivated.

Only few people took part in the protest and the administration of the factory managed to subdue it peacefully. It is less convincing that the government disliked Malazonia because of such a small protest action where only 70 people took part.

There is more important version of the detention which is connected with the visit of foreign businessmen in Georgia two months ago. The businessmen visited several enterprises and ‘Nitric” factory among them. During their visit, people started to rumor that soon the “Nitric” factory will have a new owner, supposedly, Azerbaijan Company “Socar”.

The allegations to prove the version soon appeared in Georgian websites. Many people recalled that Russian high-ranking officials were standing behind those Russian companies who own enterprises in Georgia. People even said that Russian owners of the “Nitric” shall be removed as peacefully as possible after what the enterprise will be assigned to a new owner.

The employees of the “Nitric” are still waiting for the new detentions. The remark of the anchor of the weekly program PS at the Rustavi 2 might be the demonstration of the government’s plans. He started the reportage about Malazonia with the words. “This case is much more interesting because it deals with Georgian-Russian Company. Bearing the case of Malazonia in mind, we can suppose that he and his partners will be punished for each wasted tetri.”

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