LAW
Property of Saakashvili and his family seized
25 September, 2014
Property of Saakashvili and his family seized
Property of Mikheil Saakashvili and his family has been seized. A decision on the seizure of property of former President and his family was initially made by Tbilisi City Court on August, 29th.

The court appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office with the relevant motion. The judge partly satisfied the motion and seized a part of the property.
The defence appealed against the decision in the Court of Appeals, which upheld the City Court’s decision. Mikheil Saakashvili’s lawyer has named a list of the former President’s seized properties. Lawyer Otar Kakhidze said the properties of Mikheil Saakashvili, his wife, children, mother, father and grandmother have been seized.
The list looks like this: agricultural land (less than 2 hectares) owned by Saakashvili in Kvareli as well as the Kvareli house (75 square meters); grandmother - Mzia Tsereteli’s 500 square meters of land in Ozurgeti as well as her 10-year-old Toyota RAV4; mother - Giuli Alasania’s less than 0.2 hectares of land in Kvareli; wife - Sandra Roelofs’ apartment in Tbilisi; grandmother’s apartment, which is under construction, and her 17-year-old Honda Accord.
Mikheil Saakashvili commented from Washington for Rustavi 2 TV on the seizure of his property. According to the ex-President, the main axis of the Georgian statehood has collapsed.
“The property, taken away by Ivanishvili in the recent days, is a classic example of an uncorrupted president, of state officials who do not steal. Show me one president in the world who had been a president for 9 years and has a smaller house than mine. The most painful thing is that they seized not my property; they seized Georgia, they stopped all processes in Georgia. Illegality and idiotism are under way in Georgia today,” he said.
The former President connects the decision on the seizure of his property to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. “The problem is that Georgia is ruled today by an uneducated, angry, bandit-like oligarch with an ugly soul, which sits in a grand palace and makes decisions about property seizures, arrests, expulsions and appointments. The main axis of statehood has been collapsed’, he said.
He also spoke of his bank accounts and explained that he did not have any big savings as he had invested everything he had in the presidential library.
Georgia’s former First Lady Sandra Roelofs also commented about the seizure in an interview with Rustavi 2 TV.
“The seized apartment, where we lived before his Presidency, was given
to me by my father when I married Misha. This is an apartment that my father put his heart and soul into, so that a new couple wouldn’t have problems in Tbilisi”.
She explained what this seizure actually means for her.
“The fact that there are measures being taken against our property means that one day I’m going to enter this apartment and see someone else living there, who’ll tell me to get out... After what I did throughout these 18 years – I’ve been in Georgia for that long, did I somehow deserve this?”
Still, she said she looks at all this optimistically.
“I hope that this misunderstanding will be sorted out, so that there is a way back and that we will be given an opportunity to live peacefully and continue doing good deeds the way we’ve been doing it for Georgia for years.”
Gela Nikolashvili, a lawyer, gave the following assessment to Kviris Palitra:
– Right now the defense has the right to appeal the decision. They can present an argument and if the property was inherited (from grandmother, mother or spouse) or obtained before the accused became President, they will be able to prove this, most likely, but it is obvious that things like an apartment that is being built in the city center and a car released in 2014 were obtained after.
The seizure of property does not mean that it is confiscated. It simply means that Saakashvili and his relatives will not be able to assign it to someone else. Now Sandra, Mzia and Giuli have to prove that the property was theirs and not Misha’s-that it was given to them by fathers or grandfathers. In this case, seizure will be rescinded. Property will remain in the aforementioned persons’ possession until the court’s verdict – they will be able to use it and live in it. They will simply not be able to reassign it to anyone.
–You mentioned bank accounts. Some experts claim that Saakashvili has bank accounts abroad – should we expect them to be frozen?
– It seems that the Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t yet considered it necessary to freeze Saakashvili’s accounts in Georgia, but there exists a possibility of this happening in the future. In an interview with the New York Times Saakashvili says that he is not a poor man, but that local prices are too high for him. He has an apartment in Manhattan and foreign bank accounts, but he obviously has them in an offshore zone, – Gela Nikolashvili claims.

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