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Misha Wants and That’s Settled

High-ranking officials manipulate in President’s name maliciously

“This question was settled by the President and Minister of Agriculture. You have to give in you plots and should not take part in the auction,” despite similar offer made by Lagodekhi Municipality Governor, farmer Leri Midelauri invited Kakheti Deputy Gubernator to Regional Administrative Board. However, neither Zura Bezhanishvili threatened Midelauri. Consequently, they did not hold the auction on 200 acres of land and now they are trying to launch criminal case against the farmer before the next auction.

It is September 20 of 2007. Open auction is earmarked in Kakheti Regional Department of State Property Management and Privatization for 4:00 PM. So-called “Vitimi” lands located in Lagodekhi District should be sold at the auction. One of participants is farmer Leri Midelauri, a resident of the village of Heretiskari in Lagodekhi district. He wants to purchase the land on the auction because it borders with his farm. He has already allocated part of money-20 thousand lari on the account of the Ministry of Economical Development.

“It is order; I do not care about your interests!”

On September 16, governor of the village of Heretiskari called Leri Midelauri and told: “Lagodekhi District Governor, Tamaz Godziashvili ordered me to call Leri to meet him on September 17 in the Administrative Board. So I did what Godziashvili told me,” said Tariel Kimadze, village governor.

Farmer and Lagodekhi Governor met each other in the quarter of the latter in Lagodekhi Administrative building. “We spoke about “Vitimi” lands. Initially the governor told me that the question on this land is already settled by Georgian President and Agricultural Minister and a certain organization should purchase it. The latter plans to plant olive trees on the land, I inquired about the organization because I wanted to meet the board of my contestants myself. However, the governor did not tell me the name. The only thing he told me was to withdraw my application on purchase from the Privatization Department and not to take part in the auction. But I refused and he got furious. Before leaving his room he said Kakheti Deputy Gubernator wanted to meet me on Tuesday, September 18 in his office in Telavi.

-Did you meet Deputy Gubernator?

-I met Zurab Bezhanishvili on that day in his quarter. He repeated the same. He said that the President was interested in the land and I must not take part in the auction. “Misha wants it,and that’s all,” Bezhanishvili told me. In reply to his demands I said I would go to Tbilisi and try to find out the situation-whether the president was really interested in the land or not. Afterwards I would have made final decision. Besides that I told the Deputy Gubernator that according to the spread information the President was eager to gain as much money as possible for state budget so I was going to pay more money that my contestant organization. Besides that if president wanted any particular organization to purchase the land he should not sell the state property via auction. Deputy Gubernator was looking at me in surprise for a long time. Then he said it was an order and nobody cared about budget and money. The land should be sold at lowest price. He gave me time for consideration till the end of the day and them I had to inform him via Lagodekhi District Governor. We parted but that evening I did not call him.

-So, you took part in the auction did not you?

-On September 17 I arrived at Kakheti Regional Department for Privatization half an hour before the auction started. Tamaz Godziashvili, MP and chairman of the Lagodekhi branch for National Movement, Guram Kakalashvili, Jondo Koberidze, Specialist for Privatization Department in Lagodekhi District and three or four strangers met me in the building. There were many other people in the department but above-mentioned people were standing together. District Governor repeated to me again not to take part in the auction. Having not managed anything about me, when they started registration of auction participants several minutes before it started, people who accompanied the governor dragged me out from the registration room. However, I managed to take registration just before it was finishing and signed the list of participants. Then I entered the room for auction where the process started 40 minutes later.

-Mr. Leri you have said that you managed to sign the list of participants in time but anyway, even if you had not managed it, would it have delayed the auction? Why was the public sale so late?

-During that time the governor, MP and other co-thinkers were thinking over the problem, because they could not reach agreement with me. The auction had already started when representative if the Privatization Department announced that four big plots in the district should not be sold anymore because they had received notification that there were buildings on those plots. They failed the auction for the reason. I demanded to show the notification they had received and they told me I could see it in the chancellery of the department. The secretary from the chancellery told me that I had to apply to their office and afterwards they should discuss whether I had right to see that document or not.’

-Can you tell us did you manage to buy any plot on the public sale?

-I managed to buy only one acre of land and I paid three thousand lari for it. I, as a farmer, have only one chance to buy as much land as possible to strengthen my business. Otherwise I have to sell all my estate to these officials and stop my business I started in 2001 when I arrived in Lagodekhi. I was buying the land piece-by-piece and then strengthened my farm. I do not exclude the possibility that I will have problems because I resist high ranking officials so much. However, I want to convince you that they will not find anything illegal on my farm because I act according to the law. I work on the field with my eleven children and I have my principles. I will never give my land to Tamaz Godziashvili and Guram Kakalashvili though they are public officials and have some power.”

-So you say that the governor and the MP are personally interested in that land?

--Yes they are. People from their circle told me about it. On that auction they sold initially 13 acres of land and then 17 acres of land. I know that governor’s son, Levan Godziashvili purchased them. Of course, Godziashvili and Kakalashvili are eager to buy those plots. They people offered me 10 and then 15 thousand USD in exchange of a deal-I was not to take part in the auction.

-and who are those people who offered you that money as a deal?

-Those people who accompanied the governor and MP in the Privatization Regional Department. I do not know them. By the way, I asked them what would happen with other participants if I withdraw my application from the auction. They told me I was not to worry about it they had already resolved that problem.

-Mr. Leri, as far as I know police investigated your business activities, did not them?

-They know that I want to buy those lands. Auction on “Vitimi” lands was first announced on August 15 last year but they failed it for the same reason. Jondo Koberidze, that time head of the Lagodekhi Privatization Department within the State Property Management informed me that Lagodekhi Experimental Station “Tambako” of the Georgian Academy for Agriculture and Science informed him before the auction that they had received a letter which stated that the contract on that land was signed illegally without agreeing it with the leaser. Consequently the latter was going to appeal against the Privatization Department at the court and the auction was postponed until the problem was resolved.

Lagodekhi district governor and MP Kakalashvili knew that I was eager to purchase that land. Thus, Financial Police’s Kakheti Department raided my business in March and April of 2007 in order to find some violations on me and to get rid of him. They were threatening me though they could not find anything illegal on my activities. As far as I know, Financial Police got interested in my business now too. They demanded some documents from the Public Registry, etc. I do not exclude the possibility that they will create artificial problems for me,” said Midelauri.

Another participant of public sale, Jemal Khachidze, also confirms the fact of suppression on the businessman and partiality of the Auction Commission on September 20.

Gela Mtivlishvili

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Name: გელა
2011-03-07 15:18
ზაზა, რა მტკიცებულება გაქვს, რომ მიდელაური იარაღის გამყიდველია?
Name: ზაზა
2011-03-04 16:03
ლერი მიდელაური არის იარაგის გადამყიდველი და რადენი კაცია მაგის გაყიდული იარაგით მკვდარი, მაგის სინდისზე იყოს! ამის დამწერს ჯერ გაეკითხა თავის რესპოდენტის ავტორიტეტი და მერე გამოექვეყნებინა ეს სტატია! მიწებს რომელსაც მიდელაური ფლობს, თვითონ კი არ ამუშავებს, არამედ გლეხობაზე აქირავებს ძვირად! ჩავიდეს გელა მთივიშვილი სოფელში და თავის "მიუკერძოებელი" თვალით ნახოს,თუ რა თქმა უნდა აინტერესებს!
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