Monaco Gov’t freezes bank account of Georgian ex-official

David Kezerashvili. Photo by, 07 Mar 2014 - 17:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

International authorities have frozen the bank account of Georgia’s former Minister of Defence, who was recently released on bail after serving four months in a French jail.

Tbilisi City Court requested the Republic of Monaco to freeze the bank account of David Kezerashvili. 

The Monaco Government had already frozen $7.4 million USD of property owned by Georgia’s former Minister of Defence, court representatives stated.

The Georgian side insisted Kezerashvili’s property was gained by means of corruption.

This move took Kezerashvili and his lawyers by surprise. Kezerashvili’s lawyer Shota Mindeli said the Georgian Court decided to address Monaco authorities without informing Kezerashvili’s representatives.

"This is nonsense. If [decisions are made] this way then there is absolutely no sense in the trial. All official decisions should be made within the court process," Mindeli said. 

"The Prosecutor’s Office uses all means to put pressure on Kezerashvili and our [his lawyers] presence here is nothing more than a farce,” Mindeli stated.

Kezerashvili, 35, was the chief of financial police from 2004 until late 2006, after which he served as the country’s Defense Minister until December 2008. 

Georgian prosecutors accuse Kezerashvili of bribe-taking, smuggling and money laundering. He is also facing charges of alienating Georgian TV station Imedi in 2008. 

Kezerashvili said all accusations against him were false and were part of political pressure from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition to members of the former government.

Kezerashvili was named on the Interpol wanted list before he was arrested and detained in France on October 10, 2013, in accordance with Georgia’s request. He was later released on bail. On February 27 French court denied Georgian request on ex-minister’s extradition to Georgia.