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The HRIDC Discloses City Council Corruption in Gori

26.10.2007
A document, proving a corrupt deal between the Gori City Council and the suspicious company Galavani 2007, ltd., has fallen into the hands of the Human Rights Centre’s Shida-Kartli Office. Galavani 2007, ltd., won a contract for elements of renovations in and around Gori on August 30, 2007. On September 12, 2007, Prosecutor David Sakvarelidze talked about the company at a briefing. The Prosecutors Office blamed former governor Vasil Makharashvili for illegally transferring 30,000 GEL to Galavani 2007, ltd., which was owned by arrested Governor Irakli Meladze.

The Gori City Council adopted “the Agreement of State Purchasing Deal for the Gori Municipal Governor” on October 17, 2007. As the newly discovered document confirms, this regulation was actually adopted on August 30th by the Gori City Council. The former head of the City Council couldn’t sign the document, so the new City Council head Zviad Khmaladze has signed the regulation instead.

The regulation states:

“In accordance with the regulation of the Gori City Council, dated August 30th, the former Gori Municipal governor formed a deal regarding state purchases from the companies, which are still in working progress. The deal on the purchase of rehabilitation components for water systems and bores in Gori and its surrounding villages, passed on August, 2007, by the Gori Municipal Governor, was agreed to by the Gori Municipal Council and the following organizations:

-The rehabilitation of drinking water system in Village Ateni - Galavani 2007, ltd. for 139,893 GEL;

-The rehabilitation of drinking water system in Village Kitsnisi - Galavani 2007, ltd. for 5,969,390 GEL;

-The rehabilitation of bore in Village Brotseleti - Galavani 2007, ltd. for 3,638 GEL;

-The rehabilitation of bore in Village Shertuli - Galavani 2007, ltd. for 6,681 GEL;

-The rehabilitation of bore in Village Nikozi - Galavani 2007, ltd. for 2,611 GEL;

-The establishment of a new bore in Village Kitsnisi- Galavani 2007, ltd. for 54,061.10 GEL (forty four thousand and sixty one lari and ten tetri).

Regarding the regulation in question, the head of the Gori City Council Zviad Khmaladze states:
“You have misunderstood the content of the regulation. We have only corrected mistakes made by the former Head of City Council. He has not signed the August 30th regulation, which I have instead.”

-Mr. Zviad, in your opinion would call these deals formed by the former governor with Galavani 2007, ltd., as valid?

“We haven’t made any deals like that, as the aforementioned regulation doesn’t give any right to Galavani 2007, ltd., for producing the elements for renovation. Besides that, the Gori City Council enabled the governor to sign deals with the companies Gio, ltd., Daviti, ltd., and Building Trest #9, ltd., as well.”

-What can you tell us about these firms?

Daviti, ltd.- We have a long relationship with that firm. In 2005 Deputy Governor Tamar Edisherashvili accused the head of the Public Health Centre, Eka Kerachashvili, of having aimless expenditures. As Edisherashvili stated, Kerachashvili had transferred much more money to the Daviti, ltd., than was called for by the agreement. Because of this, Kerachashvili was dismissed from her position. In her place, Ia Berianidze, a close relative of Mikheil Kareli, has been appointed. We are interested in where Daviti, ltd., has used the extra money transferred to their account from the budget.

Gio, ltd.- The scandal connected with that firm involves materials about the abrogation in the Revision Acts of the Chamber of Control, dated March, 2005 and by May, 2006. The Act of 2006 confirms that Gio, ltd., under the order of local government, spent 48,885 GEL on the construction of parking places. In the 2005 Act, it is written that Mikheil Kareli apportioned 48,885 GEL from his fund for making the parking spots.

Building Trest #9, ltd. – This LTD belongs to Vakhtang Kanchaveli, who was a Georgian MP before November 2nd, 2003. In his place, Irakli Okruashvili became the MP from Gori. Despite this old tension between Okruashvili and Kancheli, Building Trest #9, ltd., has consistently won bids for projects proposed by the Gori local government between 2004 and 2006. His company was involved in a scandal during the construction of Gori Military Hospital. The hospital’s maids demanded their frozen wages after three months without pay. One of the companies working on the hospital’s construction was Kanchaveli’s Building Trest #9, ltd. The chief doctor of the hospital, Guram Gvasalia, transferred the 70 maids’ wages in February 2006 from the budget of the hospital.

Saba Tsiktsikashvili, Gori

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