Maka Botchorishvii, the Chair of the Georgian Parliament’s European Integration Committee, on Friday said a number of resolutions by the European Parliament had involved “a number of inaccuracies” in their portrayal of Georgian domestic politics, and urged MEPs to “seek more information” before adopting decisions on related topics.
The lawmaker’s comments for the media came following an investigation by the British Broadcasting Corporation earlier this month that alleged links between the wanted former Georgian Defence Minister David Kezerashvili and a scheme defrauding European citizens.
An EP resolution in June 2022 cited Kezerashvili - who owns shares in the Georgian-based Formula TV channel - as being “persecuted” by the country’s authorities and mentioned charges against him in the context of his position in the domestic “critical media”.
It is a kind of right and even an obligation of MEPs to make political statements based on a little more information, especially when it comes to adopting resolutions and documents. They should seek more information and have their positions strengthened. Such issues should be studied in detail [before making official comments or assessments]", said Botchorishvili.
In its investigation report, published on April 12, BBC named Kezerashvili as a central figure of a global network of a scam operation targeting customers across Europe.
It said the Panama Papers - the 11.5 million documents leaked in 2016 to show financial dealings of wealthy individuals and officials across the world - had shown Kezerashvili to be at the centre of the fraudulent scheme that offered European citizens investment opportunities while defrauding them.
Kezerashvili is wanted in Georgia for embezzlement of state funds during his time in office between 2006-2008, with the Tbilisi Court of Appeals last month upholding the City Court verdict on the case and ordering him to pay €5,060,000 in compensation to the Ministry of Defence.