Georgian Ombudsman: No signs of money laundering in the case of TBC Bank founders Khazaradze, Japaridze

  • Nino Lomjaria said that the accusation and qualification on Khazaradze-Japaridze case are not correct. Photo: Ombudsman of Georgia., 25 Jun 2020 - 15:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria says there is no evidence pointing at signs of money laundering in an ongoing case against TBC Bank founders Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze, who were charged by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia on July 24, 2019 for laundering $16.7 million.

We have studied Khazaradze-Japaridze's case in detail. Our main finding is that the accusation and qualification are not correct. There are no constituent criteria and circumstances in the case that point to the crime of money laundering. Money laundering is an international crime and it has its own standards and its own constituent elements. We think that the accusation against them [Khazaradze-Japaridze] does not meet the obligatory elements that are necessary for a person to be charged with money laundering", Lomjaria said.

To note, on May 14 independent international expert Pauline David, selected in open competition by Transparency International Georgia, also said that there is no basis to prove Khazaradze and Japaridze or businessman Avtandil Tsereteli (connected with the case) committed a money laundering offence, either individually or as co-conspirators.