Property illegally seized by ex-gov’t returned to owners
Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia meets victims

The Chief Prosecutor's Office returned property illegally seized by the previous government to five victims. Photo by the Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia., 07 Mar 2016 - 17:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is returning confiscated properties to several victims of former government repression.

Five people who were accused of breaking the law and had their properties seized by the United National Movement-led government will soon have their real estate returned.

Today representatives from the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia met the five victims whose properties were illegally confiscated. The properties – three apartments and an office area – were worth almost half a million US dollars. 

An investigation into the incident revealed the former Chief Prosecutor’s Office unlawfully accused director and founder of construction firm Mshenebeli XXI, Merab Lursmanashvili and Nugzar Barbakadze, of fabricating company documents in September 2010. 

At the time a prosecutor summoned the men’s wives to the Prosecutor’s Office and told them to hand over their two apartments or their husbands would be sent to prison. 

The women were forced to accept the deal and the Office signed a plea bargain with the developers, which also forced them to pay a fine. The deal did not mention the two confiscated apartments. 

Another case concerned the illegal seizure of real estate belonging to Ramaz Totladze.

In July 2011 the Tbilisi Appellate Court unlawfully sentenced Totladze to nine years in jail after it accused him of illegal legalisation of property. Totladze was forced to pay a 50,000 GEL fine ($20,280/€18,500*) and hand over his apartment and the office area to former authorities.

In January 2016, through an appeal of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the Appellate Court restudied the case, overturned Totladze’s nine year sentence and the fine.  The man was also entitled to retain his illegally seized property. 

*Currencies are equivalent to today’s National Bank of Georgia exchange rate.