Deputy Economy Minister rejects claims of undocumented income, shares property information

Deputy Economy Minister Romeo Mikautadze rejected claims he had received undocumented income while being employed in the public sector. Photo: Ministry of Economy, 01 Nov 2023 - 18:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Deputy Economy Minister Romeo Mikautadze on Wednesday rejected claims he had received undocumented income while being employed in the public sector, calling the allegations “absurd” and “slander” against him and his family by “some media outlets".

In response to the unspecified media outlets, Mikautadze said he and his family had owned a “large business for years” and enjoyed a “fairly high” income, selling the enterprise for ₾2 million ($740,000) later. 

In addition, I also worked in the non-public sector, from which I had additional income in the form of salary and the opportunity to make savings. This was the period between 2005-2017, when [...] I had a solid income from private business and also from activities in the non-public sector”, he said.

Mikautadze shared information about his family property, saying they had sold five flats in the capital city of Tbilisi, two in the Black Sea city of Batumi and a country house located in Tserovani, a village in the central Mtskheta-Mtianeti region.

In exchange we bought one flat in Tbilisi and land plots in Tskneti, Dedoplistskaro and Ozurgeti”, he said in reference to a holiday town on the outskirts of Tbilisi, a village in the eastern Kakheti region and a city in the western Guria region.

Mikautadze also shared information about his wife’s property, saying she held a 50 percent stakes in the View Point company and Hotel Bethlehem in Tbilisi, and a land plot in Tsavkisi village in the outskirts of Tbilisi. 

He also claimed “another false accusation” had targeted his family in relation to a plot of land received through the Access to Agricultural Land Resources state programme. 

In 2018, we participated in the state programme Plant the Future and planted blueberry plantations [on this plot of land]. In 2022, within the state programme for Access to Agricultural Land Resources, the said plot of land, like 208 other plots of state tenants, was evaluated by the [National] Forensics Bureau, and we paid the value after it was handed over to us”, the official said.

The Deputy Minister stressed he had “not benefited from any privilege” and acted “in accordance with the Georgian legislation” in the dealings.