gela mtivlishvili 1 eng by 2U4mb9C


									                                                            No Choice: Either My “Real
                                                            Estate” or My Family Would Have
                                                            Been Persecuted!!!

                                                            Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti

                                                      Kakha Bendukidze, former State Minister in Reform
                                                      Coordination and who currently heads-up the Georgian
                                                      Prime-Minister’s Administration, commented over the
                                                      alleged deprivation of private properties from citizens in
                                                      Sighnaghi, which was realized under a range of threats:
                                                      psychological, physical violence and the threat of being
imprisoned. He said “everyone who took part in deprivation of private properties from their rightful owners must
be severely punished.”

- Mr. Kakha, former advisor to current Kakheti Regional governor, former Sighnaghi district governor and
representatives of the financial police department made Manana Macharashvili, Tamaz Gorelishvili and
Tamar Tarashvili to give up their commercial spaces that were located in the town centre. Under threat of
imprisonment, on August 31 2007 at 12:00 AM Law enforcers brought those people to Notary Bureau and
made to sign the purchase contract.

-It is robbery. The rehabilitation works in Sighnaghi will lose its value if the citizens’ rights on their legal properties
will be abused. Why those people did not apply to the Prosecutor’s Office?

-They did. The Prosecutor General’s Office started investigation but the process is endlessly prolonged. The
victims sent letters to the Georgian president too; they expressed their protest publicly. However, still there
have been no positive results.

Bendukidze stated that the government will deal with these issues.

However, now we will describe just another instance, one among many, of private property rights being deprived
under the color of law or by outright intimidation.

Gela Bezashvili owned a space in Erekle II Street # 1 in Sighnaghi before December 14, 2006 and this was
confirmed by the document that was issued by the Public Registry within the Georgian Ministry of Justice. The
Sighnaghi market was functioning on part of that territory.

On December 13 2006 at approximately 9:00 PM officials from Sighnaghi Tax Inspection visited Bezhashvili at
home and took him to their office. “At the Tax Inspection nearly 30 strange people met me. Supposedly, they were
officials of Financial Police and Prosecutor General’s Office. Two of them led me to another room and threatened
me with attacking my family unless I assigned my property on market territory to the state. They then threatened
that my sons would have drugs planted on them and be imprisoned. The threat was so serious and to tell the truth, I
categorical afraid and the very next day, on December 14, I felt that I had no choice but to sign the contract for the
transfer,” said Gela Bezhashvili.

On May 2, 2007 Gela Bezhashvili then appealed to the Georgian Public Defender’s office. He stated that he was
forced to assign his property to the state though he did not want to – as he did not have such a desire.

Sozar Subari, Georgian public defender, considers that based on Georgian Civil Code, Articles 54, 85, 86 and 87 the
contract signed between Gela Bezhashvili (Acho Ltd) and state (Sighnaghi State Property Registration and
Privatization Department) on December 14 2006 shall be annulled.

“According to Article 50 of the Civil Code of Georgia, “A transaction is a unilateral, bilateral or multilateral
expression of the will directed towards the establishment, alteration, or termination of legal relations.” When
defining the agreement the legislator relies on the theory of willfull action which is expressed in this article and
states that the agreement is a case of a personal will. It is absolutely possible that the personal and expressed will did
not coincide with each other. In this particular case, Gela Bezhashvili’s action does not coincide with his personal
will because he described that his decision was an outcome of the fear of force. Besides, we have witnessed all the
specific grounds that are characteristic of a forcibly signed contract.”

“According to the Article 85 of the Civil Code of Georgia “Using force (violence or threat) against a person for the
purpose of concluding a transaction shall entitle the person to claim invalidity of the transaction even where the
compulsion was effected by a third person.” Thus, while using force third side interferes in expressing the personal
will and it aims to sign the contract. In our case, third side interfered in the expression of Gela Bezhashvili’s will
that aimed to transfer the personal property to the state for free. I would like to point out once again that Bezhashvili
was not eager to sign similar contract. He was taken from home, threatened and forced to express the will to assign
his property to the state. Civil Code estimates the forms and character of compulsion.

The compulsion can be expressed by force and threatening. The first instance occurs when a person is made to sign
contract under threat of physical force or torture, and/or when s/he is persuaded to sign the document in a state of
hypnoses. When the person is threatened, s/he has to follow the order of an abuser because of fear of future incident.
The second form occurred in Gela Bezhashvili’s case because his family members were threatened with physical
attack and even illegal imprisonment. The Article 87 of the same code regulates the situation: “Compulsion
constitutes the grounds for declaring a transaction void also if it is directed at the spouse, other family members or
close relations of one of the parties to the transaction.”

Thus, the compulsion is real because it was imposed on Gela Bezhashvili who ran small business, has wife and two
sons; the second party of the deal was state with is powerful and huge structure. All law enforcement bodies are
tools for the state and it supports the development of private property. All in all, a very strong counteragent is
standing on the one side who has absolute power to carry out any activities that might have negative influence on the
second side or realize its threat in reality. Gela Bezhashvili explained that he had grounds to think that policemen
and officials from Prosecutor’s Office could easily fulfill their threats; to plant drugs on his sons and send them to
prison for the crime. We should pay attention to the time, place and circumstance of threatening. Gela Bezhashvili
was taken away from home at night, when a person is easily frightened. Besides that, a lot of strange people met him
at state bodies, which could be another shock for any person. Consequently, it is not strange that Gela Bezhashvili
considered the threat was real and signed the contract against his personal will,” said Sozar Subari.

Georgian Ombudsman mentioned this fact in his report of the second part of 2007 though the parliament of 2008
refused to discuss it. The Public Defender stated in his report that Gela Bezhashvili should receive his property
back; and he must be compensated for the damage he received as a result of market deconstruction. Or the property
with adequate value shall be offered to Bezhashvili.

Sighnaghi branch of the trading network “Populi” was opened on the same territory that had been Gela
Bezhashvili’s property before December 14, 2006. According to information that has been since shared, the owner
of the trading network is Lado Gurgenidze, the Prime Minister. Moreover, in spite of other legal issues, Gela
Bezhashvili has not received any compensation as yet. Moreover, officials from the Kakheti Regional Department of
the State Property Management and Privatization stated to us that they are not intending to compensate Bezhashvili
whatsoever because “he assigned his property to the state based on his own free will.”

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