Tbilisi mayor faces criminal charges
Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava has been charged with misappropriation of particularly large amount of state funds via illegal machinations. The representatives of the Chief Prosecutor`s Office of Georgia reported the details of the crime of which the mayor is accused.
According to the prosecutor`s office, the funds allocated for the development and rehabilitation projects of Tbilisi, was misappropriated and embezzled by the municipal officials and spent on the funding of the activists of the United National Movement.
`Based on the authentic evidences obtained by the investigation, it was clarified that Tbilisi mayor`s office founded `Tbilisi Development Fund` on June 16th, 2010. Tbilisi mayor, who is at the same time the head of the Tbilisi organization of the political party the United National Movement, Giorgi Ugulava, drafted a criminal scheme together with other officials of the mayor`s office, which aimed at funding pre-election campaign activities prior to the parliamentary elections in 2012 from the funds of the Tbilisi Development Fund.
In November 2011, according to this scheme and under the instruction of Gigi Ugulava, salary plastic cards were printed for the fictitious employs of the TDF for the research works of 719 buildings in Tbilisi. The owners of the cards were not the employs of the TDF but the activists of the political party United National Movement. The salaries transferred on these salary plastic cards, were cashed and paid as the salaries to the party activists, district leaders and micro-coordinators. 13,852,497 GEL was misappropriated via this scheme of machination from November 2011 to June 2012.
From June to October 2012, under the instruction of Gigi Ugulava, the funds intended for the party activists were cashed as bank bills and paid to the heads of party`s regional organizations, who afterwards distributed the cash to the activists of the party. 34 328 463 GEl was misappropriated for party`s interests in this period.
By the mayor of Tbilisi and other municipal officials involved in the criminal scheme, 48 180 960 GEl was embezzled and spent not on the development of Tbilisi, but on the pre-election campaign of the UNM.
According to the prosecutor`s office, for the involvement in the aforementioned organized crime, the following persons were also charged with misuse of authority: former deputy mayor Davit Alavidze, former chief of the TDF, Giorgi Sabanadze, former chief of the procurement service of mayor`s office Aleksandre Tabuashvili, former governor of Dzveli Tbilisi district administration Davit Avaliani and his deputy, Dimitri Chkhaidze.