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Ex-owner of Gori swimming pool claims the expropriated property back

August 10, 2016
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

The Gori City Mayor, Zurab Jirkvelishvili called the twice-failled question back from the City Council. The initiative of the Mayor referred to giving the Gori swimming pool to the Ministry of Economics. At the August 5 session the council members did not support the initiative. Several deputies left the session and the quorum was not accomplished. Second session was scheduled at 17.00 on August 5, but the quorum was not reached again. The next session was scheduled on August 8. However, the Gori Mayor Zurab Jirkvelishvili called the initiative back. The members of the City Council were clarified that the Mayor had not specified the space of the object in the resolution. 

The member of the City Council from Free Democrats, Tamar Tedliashvili said the decision of the Gori City Mayor was irresponsible. 

”We had to assign the property to the Ministry of Economics, so that the Mayor had not specified the space. It was irresponsible statement from the Gori Mayor”, - declared Tedliashvili. 

The Gori swimming pool is disputed property between the state and Gia Giguashvili. As Giguashvili claims, during the governance of the National Movement he was forced to give up the swimming pool. Couple of months ago, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office declared him to be a victim and started legal procedures to restitute the illegally seized property to him.. 

The Gori City Hall has already elaborated the swimming pool rehabilitation project and raised relevant funds too. The rehabilitation of the swimming pool had to be finished by 2017 with co-funding of the World Bank. Though, statement of the Prosecutor’s Office suspended the process of rehabilitation. 

“Free Democrats” call on the law enforcement agencies to investigate the fact. They say it shall be investigated how fairly Gia Giguashvili bought the property in 2006 as he was a friend of that time Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili. 

Initial price of the Gori swimming pool on the auction was 50 000 GEL, though it was sold for 32 100 USD equivalent in GEL. The audit evaluated the property for 906 000 GEL in 2009 and this fact raises questions”, - the representative of “Free Democrats” Tamar Tedliashvili said.

Giguashvili denied information about close relationship with Irakli Okruashvili and claims that he was honest purchaser of the property. He said the “National Movement” forced him to gift the pool to the state. Giguashvili states the issue of the swimming pool was failed at the session purposefully and claims there is no difference between those, who seized the property and those who does not allow him to get the property back. “If I had committed any crime, neither former government nor current one would ever let me out of prison. The Prosecutor’s Office has been investigating my case for 8 years. They recognized me as a victim,”- clarified Gia Giguashvili. 

The Gori swimming pool does not function for the last couple of years. The ex-owner of the pool declares that if the dispute is settled in his favor, he will reconstruct the pool and open it in short time.