TBC Bank founder says he sent original letter with threats ‘received’ from Interior Minister to London

The former head of  TBC Bank, Mamuka Khazaradze (L), was summoned for interrogation today. Photo: IPN.

Agenda.ge, 05 Mar 2019 - 17:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

TBC Bank Founder Mamuka Khazaradze says that he has sent a letter he claimed he received from Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia and which allegedly included threats against him and TBC Bank, to London to be studied, while a copy has been handed to the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office.

Khazaradze stated yesterday that he received the letter before the second round of the Georgian presidential elections in November 2018, which included threats of ruining his reputation should certain demands not be met.  

Khazaradze was summoned for interrogation at Tbilisi City Court today, where he said that he brought the copy of the letter he mentioned during his speech in parliament on Monday.

The National Bank of Georgia demanded the resignation of top TBC bankers last month. 

I am not going to speak about the content of the letter. I have handed the letter to the Prosecutor’s Office and they can speak about it now. The Prosecutor’s Office is very good at holding briefings,” Khazaradze said.

Prosecutor Archil Tkeshelashvili stated after the interrogation, which took place in the presence of a judge, that he still does not know the content of the letter.

However, the letter included no identifying signs that it was really written by Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia. The letter comes with text which was typed on a computer,” Tkeshelashvili said.

He said that the Prosecutor’s Office will make a decision whether or not to summon Gakharia for interrogation only after they study the content of the letter.

Khazaradze was invited to parliament yesterday to speak about the money laundering case being investigated by the Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office, involving him and another founder of the bank Badri Japaridze.

Khazaradze claimed that he refused to fulfill the demands written in the letter which was followed by a “large-scale” attack on him and the bank.

Gakharia has called Khazaradze a “privileged businessman gossiping from the parliamentary tribune,” and stated that he “never writes letters.”

Read more about the TBC case here.