23:52, Tuesday, 17.07.2018
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Court dispute over football stadium


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

Mikheil Lursmanashvili applied to the chief prosecutor’s office and the court with the claim to get the Gori based Tengiz Burjanadze Football Stadium back. Lursmanashvili said, during the governance of the United National Movement, he was forced to give up the property and assign it to the state. Lawyer Amiran Giguashvili defends interests of Mikheil Lursmanashvili at the court; the Gori City Hall is defendant in the court dispute.

“Mikheil Lursmanashvili is one of the victims of the cruel politics of the previous government and tries to get his property back, which was illegally and unfairly seized from him during the UNM government. The criminal case was launched at the Chief Prosecutor’s Office; investigation is ongoing and we hope to get positive result soon. In parallel to that, we have appealed the court to claim the property back,” the lawyer Amiran Giguashvili said.

In summer of 2017 Gori will host the Europe Youth Football Championship, whose selection matches were held in the Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium. The repair works have already started in the stadium, which will cost 1 350 000 GEL in total including the 560 000 GEL from the Gori district budget. 

Considering the ongoing court hearings into the case, independent member of the Gori city council Tamar Tedliashvili thinks the allocation of the funds from the local budget on the reconstruction of the disputed stadium is unreasonable expenditure. 

“It is not excluded that the court will satisfy the claim of the applicant and returns the stadium to Lursmanashvili. Considering that, it is cautious to allocate the funds for the repair of the disputed property and is unreasonable expenditure of state funds. The similar fact was observed in the case of Gori swimming pool, when the city council allocated funds for its rehabilitation but the prosecutor’s office returned it to the old owners, which also claimed that the UNM had forcibly seized property from them,” Tamar Tedliashvili said.

Gori City Mayor Zurab Jirkvelishvili said it is very important to organize the European Championship in Gori and considering that he does not think it is unreasonable to allocate state funds for the rehabilitation of the disputed stadium. Zurab Jirkvelishvili said instead returning the property to the owner, the court may order the Gori City Hall to compensate the former owner the loss of the property as several million GEL was already spent on the rehabilitation of the stadium since it was registered as a state property.

“The previous government committed many crimes and seizure of properties was one of them. The people, whom the court and prosecutor’s office recognizes to be victims and estimates the amount of their damage, the current government is ready to reimburse their damages. As for the Gori football stadium, in this particular case we may consider the compensation of the damage instead returning the property to its old owner,” Zurab Jirkvelishvili said. 
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