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Prosecutor’s Office Investigates Activities of Charity Fund Iavnana

Monday, October 8
Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia (POG) has released a statement regarding the investigation into the activities of the charity foundation Iavnana, established by a famous Georgian opera singer, Paata Burchuladze. The statement reads that in 2004-2017 only 30% of funds attracted by the organization were spent on charity.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, the purpose of the investigation is to determine what funds were received by the organization in 2004-2017 and whether or not these funds were used for charity. The POG says that this is the reason Burchuladze’s wife, Angela Vasilenko, has been summoned for questioning.

POG says the first episode of the investigation refers the money spent from the foundation for covering traveling costs of Burchuladze and his wife. According to the agency, the fund spent 700,000 GEL for their travel "in the conditions when Vasilenko’s role in the fund was undetermined.”

The second episode, according to the statement, applies to Paata Burchuladze's expenses for hotel services in Georgia, which amounted to 40,000 GEL according to the prosecutor's office.

The third direction of the investigation concerns the episode of lease of real estate in the ownership of the Fund. According to the prosecutor's office, the property was transferred to the Fund from the state for a symbolic price for the purposes of charity.

“The fund rented out the building to one of the enterprises, where the restaurant was functioning for years, and the income received from the lease should have been used for Iavnana charity purposes,” the statement of the POG reads, adding the enterprise was not paying rent to the fund properly and on time, as a result of which the fund did not get GEL 0.5 million.

POG stressed that in 2004-2017, the cost of airline tickets of Vasilenko, also her salary amounted to GEL 254,000, out of which the only salary is 25,000 GEL and other costs amounted to GEL 337,000.

On October 4, Paata Burchuladze's wife Angela Vasilenko was to be interrogated, but she did not come to the court. Her lawyer Vakhtang Kvizhinadze says that Vasilenko is not in Georgia and will give testimony on October 8.

Burchuladze also commented on the case, saying his wife has very important information for the Prosecutor's Office, which involves ruling party Georgian Dream (GD) founder and Chair, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

As operatic bass told Rustavi 2 TV, the POG tries to portray the situation as if somebody fled a country, adding his wife and an investigator agreed that the questioning will take place in the presence of a judge.

"They agreed that the questioning will take place on October 8. She has a lot of information, which involves Bidzina Ivanishvili as well. They try to portray the situation as if somebody fled a country, but I think that actually, Bidzina Ivanishvili is getting ready to run away," said Burchuladze.

The Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia launched an investigation into the possible misappropriation and embezzlement of large amounts of money by heads of Iavnana foundation on September 20, 2017.