Absolute majority of records were staged in advance and recorded by Zaza Okuashvili and me openly in his office – Levan Kipiani
Absolute majority of records of conversations, which were released in media, were staged in advance and recorded by me and Zaza Okuashvili openly in his office – former minister of sports Levan Kipiani has told investigation in his testimony, which was published by the Main Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.
“Some of the episodes were recorded in several doubles, because Okuashvili thought that I lacked credibility, i.e. he disapproved my artistic skills, which is not my strong side indeed. There were occasions, when he urged me to make rough formulations, which he could not persuade me to do and so we used to record the dialogues several times. In spite of this, one part of the tapes released in media, although recorded by me and Okuashvili as agreed and after rehearsing, were seriously fabricated”,- Levan Kipiani said in his testimony.
When asked if he had any kind of communication, by phone or in person, with Otar Partskhaladze regarding the solution of the problem of Omega Group’s tax arrears or/and with the purpose of compensation of the harm caused to the company, Levan Kipiani answers that he had no communication with Otar Partskhaladze.
“I did not have any kind of communication with Otar Partskhaladze regarding any of the said issues and I do not understand the purpose for contacting him, because Otar had his own business and had resigned from the public service three years before, therefore, he did not have any kind of opportunity to resolve the mentioned problem”,- Levan Kipiani said, adding that most of the conversations were recorded in Okuashvili’s office.
“Zaza had the voice recorder device, though I do not know which brand it was; Zaza saved the recordings in his computer, to which we listened and if Zaza did not like the files, we used to record it again and as I have already mentioned, sometimes we used to record it several times”,- Kipiani tells the investigation.
On the question: the released audio tapes also contain the conversations of other persons on different issues. Where those persons aware of the agreement between Kipiani and Okuashvili about staging the dialogues and were they involved in that agreement as well? Levan Kipiani answers:
“I have not attended the negotiations of Zaza with other alleged speakers on the tape – Dato Tolordava, Irakli Chubinishvili and Aleksi Andriadze, however, if we consider the fact that Zaza made me talk to Tolordava several times with the speeches prepared in advance, I think that they must have been aware, especially, if we consider that Zaza Okuashvili told me once that Irakli Chubinishvili was assisting him as well”, - Kipiani said.
When asked if he knew whom the tapes of conversations staged by him and Zaza Okuashvili were intended for and if he knew whether Okuashvili showed them to those persons, Levan Kipiani answers that Zaza Okuashvili did not name the group of persons, for whom the tapes were intended.
“He only said that he needed those records for foreign partners to postpone the deadlines of his obligations before them. The idea of the recordings was to convince foreign partners that Zaza Okuashvili’s business was under pressure from governmental agencies and that he had to pay serious funds to official structures to protect his business, due to which he could not comply with his obligations before the partners. However, I do not know if he really had some obligations before foreign partners”, - Kipiani has said.