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Founders of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze pay GEL 700,000 bail each

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, August 27
The founders of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze paid 700 000 GEL bail each as they were sentenced by the Tbilisi City Court. The Prosecutor General's Office of Georgia accuses the founders of TBC Bank for the legalization of $16,754,000, as a result of which, they received a large amount of income.

Khazaradze and Japaridze were formally charged on July 24, and on July 26, Tbilisi City Court imposed bail of GEL 700,000 on each of them. They had one month to pay. According to the court ruling, the founders of TBC Bank are forbidden to leave Georgia without informing the Prosecutor's Office.

Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze say that the accusations are completely ridiculous and absurd. “Today we are practically in a situation where one person runs a country without institutions… I promise that this fight will continue to the end. I will continue this fight with my friends to change this country and I guarantee you, this system will collapse very soon,” said Khazaradze on July 26, after the decision of the court was announced.

Khazaradze and Japaridze have also left TBC Bank Supervisory Board to ensure the allegations made against them would not affect the Group. They also left the positions of chairman and deputy chairman of the Anaklia Development Consortium. Many say that it is a political persecution against Khazaradze from the ruling Georgian Dream party, as some say, the fight against him started because he announced to establish a new movement in September.

According to Khazaradze, his movement will be diverse and include professionals from different fields to unite the country and make it economically and politically stable.

As Khazaradze said with reporters, never during his career, neither he nor Japaridze have done anything illegal, and have never lied about their finances. He also noted that he is not afraid of anything, “I’m not afraid of going to jail, neither of the facts that my bank accounts have been seized, it was a shameful thing to do.”

Khazaradze has stated on several occasions that recalling transactions that happened 11 years ago and baseless accusations are targeted against the Anaklia Port project.

“This action serves only one purpose to bring an end to the public movement we have announced and to all ongoing charity and business projects, including Anaklia,” wrote Khazaradze on his personal Facebook after his bank accounts were seized.

Human Rights House Tbilisi (HRHT) and its member organizations also issued a statement and said that the allegations against Khazaradze and Japaridze are connected to the announcement of the public movement.

“It is concerning that after Mamuka Khazaradze announced the creation of a public movement, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched an investigation under Article 194 of the Civil Code for the legalization of unlawful incomes against the TBC Bank founders – Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze,” reads the statement published by HRHT.