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IDP Suits in European Court against Georgian State

June 29, 2006

IDP Suits in European Court against Georgian State

Iuri Turkia, IDP from Abkhazia suits against Abkhazian Legitimate Government and Ministry of Justice. Although he has won the case in the first instance court, the Ministry of Justice is not going to fulfill the decision of Court. The case is about registering property which Turkia left in Abkhazia.

Iuri Turkia contacted the Ministry of Justice with a letter from public registration office asking to register a house is Sokhumi, where he was living before the war broke out. Turkia has all the documents, confirming his ownership.

According to IDP the citizens of Russia live in his house illegally. “This house was build by my parents in 1956. This is not state owned, this is private property. More then thirteen years Russians are living in my house. I want to register on this address, so nobody could be able to sell it.”

Turkia left Abkhazia during the war and lives in Tbilisi now. He struggles to seek the truth from the 30th of September 2005. After the Abkhazian public registration office refused him to be registered in Sukhumi, he made several attempts to search the truth in the Sukhumi Regional and City Courts. He demanded that the house should be registered as his private property.

As it is obvious from the documents of the case, the representatives of Sukhumi Municipality find his demands unjustified. The same position has the Georgian public registration office. According to them, Tukia’s demand is not corresponding with Georgian legislation. The registration should be made by Sukhumi territorial branch of public registration office, which does not exist. The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation also finds suit groundless.

Despite the resistance, the Court has partly satisfied Turkia’s appeal. According to Court’s decision “the appeal of ownership of property is legal and it should be partly satisfied”.

1. Turkia should be named as a legal owner of the house. He should be registered in a public registration database as an owner of the house in Sukhumi.

2. Refused to hand property from the Sukhumi Municipality for free possession and using.

3. The public registration body of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia to be obliged to pay tax of 25 GEL.

Other IDPs from Abkhazia also try to legitimize their property which was left in Abkhazia. According to them, if the only fact of legitimization is stated, thousands of IDPs will have the right to fight for their property. The main reason of not registering the property from the Georgian government is that in that case they have a right to sell it without permission.

Despite that Turkia has won the case, Ministry of Justice is not going to fulfill Court decision. Jaba Ebanoidze, the head of public registration body: “We refused to register Turkia, because the documentations he had do not coincide with Georgian legislation. It is pity that court has satisfied his appeal in this part. We are not going to fulfill this decision and plan to appeal the case”.

Turkia intends to find the truth – if it does not happen in Georgia, he will send his documentation to European Court.

Eka Gulua