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Ministry of Finance of Georgia release a statement

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, June 5
The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, detained Giorgi Ghoniashvili for money laundering. Ghoniashvili is a brother-in-law of the former mayor Gigi Ugulava.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Ghoniashvili was detained because of his special influence on trade and a large amount of illicit money laundering. Former Defense Minister David Kezerashvili’s name also appears in case.

The statement reads that Ghoniashvili had information about the owner of Gudauri Ski Resort, who at the same time had registered the Book Trade organization. He asked the owner for help in financing the UNM prior to the election period and received a positive answer.

Support was expressed in the fact that money from Kezerashvili’s fund was included in the Book Trade Company and after that was also included in the UNM fund for political campaign financing.

Ugulava held a special conference with regard to Ghoniashvili’s arrest. According to Ugulava, Ghoniashvili is an apolitical person and in not linked with the finances of the United National Movement (UNM).

“What happened today was one more gesture-like action from the side of the government. They are following Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement on how the UNM must not win an election in any region,” Ugulava stressed.

According to Ugulava, the government has ascendancy over everyone around him.

“They are not leaving people alone to whom I have said even hello. Even my ill father-in-law and families of my friends. They are startling everyone around me,” Ugulava said.

According to Ugulava, the appearance of Kezerashvili’s name in the case is wrong.

“This is a person that has not had any connection with UNM for a long time. He is a political refuge and was discharged by the French court. They just have plans to discredit our party in the last 10 days before the elections,” Ugulava stated.

According to Georgia’s Criminal Code, Ghoniashvili can be imprisoned for a 9 to 12-year term.