(TBILISI)--Famous Georgian opera singer Paata Burchuladze has returned to Georgia to answer to the investigators’ questions about alleged misspending of funds of the Iavnana charity foundation, founded by Burchuladze in 2004 to support poor families and people in trouble.
Famous Opera Singer Burchuladze Returns to be Questioned
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 8
Burchuladze claims the investigation is “funny” as he has never used the charity funds for his political goals, after he decided to quit the stage and enter politics in 2016.
“The fund has done nothing but charity. I am very sorry that the Prosecutor’s Office was involved in the invented story. The Office took all the necessary documents to study five months ago but they could find nothing,” Burchuladze said.
It was announced that Burchuladze will be interrogated on February 9.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched the investigation last year.
The Office became interested in the issue after a non-governmental organization (NGO) Georgian Young Financers and Businessmen Association ( AFBA) released a statement calling on the investigative body to look into the foundation’s activities.
The statement of AFBA echoed the journalistic investigation conducted by the POSTV, which said the foundation misappropriated and embezzled money raised by charity.
Burchuladze left his successful career of the operatic bass in May 2016 and formed a political party, State for People, prior to the October 2016 parliamentary elections.
Following this, Burchuladze formed a coalition with three other opposition parties to establish the State for People Movement. His coalition failed to pass the five percent election threshold and was left without any seats in Parliament.
After the race, Burchuladze declared he quit politics. POSTV film said that Burchuladze used the money raised by the foundation to finance his political party.