Pretrial hearing held in high-profile TBC Bank case, evidence presented

Founders of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze say that their fight against the founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili will be ‘tough and uncompromising.’ Photo: IPN., 10 Oct 2019 - 15:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

A pretrial hearing has been held in the high-profile money-laundering case involving Georgia’s top bankers Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze and a businessman Avtandil Tsereteli. 

Both the defence and prosecution have presented their evidence in the case which concerns the possible laundering of $16 million. 

Now it is up to the judge to decide what exhibits of evidence to accept. The judge will announce his decision regarding the evidence at a following hearing scheduled for October 25. 

Khazaradze’s lawyer Zviad Kordzadze says that the prosecution demanded the rejection of the evidence collected by the defence abroad. 

The lawyer says that the evidence “proves no laundering took place in 2008,” adding that if the judge meets the motion of the prosecution regarding the annulment of the evidence it will create serious problems for the defence. 

Japaridze (R) and Khazaradze were charged at the end of Ju;y 2019. Photo: RFE/RL.

The evidence have been collected in full line with law. However, we are ready for the worst scenario,” Kordzadze said. 

He stated that for its part the defence demanded the rejection of one piece of evidence presented by the prosecution which is an “unclear report presented by the International Board of Advisors, which does not meet any of the requirements of the Process Code.” 

The board says that they are not familiarised with Georgian law and it is unclear how they made the report,” Kordzadze said.

The prosecution says that the defence collected the evidence abroad through the violation of eorgian law and it “must be rejected.” 

 Khazaradze, who recently founded the civic movement Lelo and has plans to create a political party, stated that the founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili stands behind the “absurd case.”

Khazaradze vowed “the end of the rule of the single man [Ivanishvili],” in the country in the near future. 

He and co-founder of TBC Bank Badri Japaridze were  charged with money laundering about two months ago and are now on bail, while Tsereteli has been charged with support in money laundering and has also been released on bail.