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Land Mafia in Gori


Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

Human Rights Center Gori Office’s attention was caught by the legality of alienation of land situated behind Gori administrative building and generally tendency of land alienations in the city. The most resounded fact of this situation is the land suddenly sold out in rather prestigious district of the city (behind the local government building). In the district where rather wealthy people live, hides many secrets. Ordinary person can’t even receive information here not to talk about participating in the protest rally. This problem was experienced by the fellowship “Health” and decided to protect its rights.

According to official documentation, Georgian Project Institution (“Sakalakmshenproject”) projected 4-5 storey building with 60 apartments in it for the medical staff of Gori Regional Hospital in 1990-1991 in the city of Gori, St. Tskhakaia (currently Amilakhvari St.). All the members of the fellowship contributed money in two phases. First – 30% of the whole sum and later – the rest.

The construction works started behind Gori administrative building. The foundation was built. The iron and concrete works have been conducted, but the construction was halted. Some of the materials bought in the unjust and chaotic conditions got lost.

In the beginning, 0.35 hectare land was given for the construction. Later, this land increased to 0,55 hectare by the request of Sakalakmshenproject’s expert note.

In 2008, right when the Law on The Recognition of Property Rights on the Land in Possession of Physical and Legal Individuals of Private Law was adopted, the members of fellowship decided to register the land in the public registry. The members of fellowship had a rumor that the added 0,20 hectare was not registered as their property.

They presented documents and receipt of payment of 300 GEL tax. They inquired about the documents in 10 days. The documents on the legalization of the land were not ready. The deputy director of public registry Emzar Khetaguri requested the allowance of the architect Zurab Jalaghania.

Architect Zurab Jalaghania requested new draft. New draft was conducted by LLC Danama 07.

“New document does not show the bordering owners or any public place, for example, road and etc. We could not imagine that someone could use our inexperience and naivety and that architect could conduct such a draft that changes the place and configuration of the territory and creates such obscurity,” – states the head of the fellowship.

After a while we found out from non-official sources that the physical individuals were preparing for building construction in the disputed territory. The local government sold out that 0,20 hectare on the auction and sold it out.

Then they addressed Gori Municipality local government. The late response makes it clear that the alienation of the territory took place in a full compliance with the law by an auction. They addressed President’s procurator Lado Vardzelashvili. He gave the same answer. It turned out that certain part of the land was sold out at the 2009, 11 August auction.

Like the members of “Health,” Human Rights Center requested the full documentation of the auction. The municipality reports that 1636 square meter land was alienated the majority of which was in the legal ownership of the fellowship.

The case includes only the letter of Gori municipality governor dated on July 15th of 2009 signed by Lasha Zhvania, Minister of Economic Development of Georgia. With this letter, the governor asks Lasha Zhvania to located information on privatization on the website.

The letter of governor is followed by the list of privatization objects, the copies of “Lomchabuki” from the magazine published in 2009, namely copies of #13 and #19 editions with the enclosed list of privatization objects and etc.

The list of privatization objects shows that the land was alienated in parts. (8 parts). Each price of each part was between 2 913-4 376 GEL. (28 728 all together) that indicates that one square meter land was sold out for 18 GEL. The lands had been alienated beforehand and auction was held just for legalizing the property.

If we consider that the territory alienated by auction did not belong to “Health’s” legal ownership and neither it belonged to the category of arbitrarily occupied land, it will be clear that the state was rather damaged by this “auction.”

The website indicated by Gori municipality website (www.privatization.ge) notes that among 10 objects sold out by auction from May 24th of 2004 to July 15th of 2010 none of the 8 land parts situated at Amilakhvari St. are included in the list of sold objects.

The “information notice” on the privatization of property included in the public documents issued by Gori municipality, is not published in the edition #26 of July 13 and 19, 2009. The magazine includes four pages. It nowhere indicates that has additional pages. We requested this edition from the municipality. They didn’t happen to have this magazine. Neither the libraries registered under the balance of the municipalities have the magazine.
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