Zaza Okuashvili was forced to give up the control stock in Omega Group – Nunu Ginturi
The hearing on the case of Iberia TV closure and the seizure of the broadcasting license was resumed at the Tbilisi City Court with the examination of the evidence presented by the prosecution.
The court interrogated former notary, Nunu Ginturi as the witness of the prosecution. Ginturi was the notary, who provided notarial confirmation of the transfer of Iberia TV’s 25% of shares on Davit Kakauridze in 2004.
Along with describing the fact of the Iberia TV license seizure in her testimony, the witness also recollected all preceding developments. Specifically, Nunu Ginturi said that in May 2004, the lawyers sent by Arkadi (Badri) Patarkatsishvili came to her office and took her to Iberia TV situated on Chubiashvili Street, Tbilisi, where she was instructed to provide notarial registration of a several million dollar deal.
As the former notary recollected, in the office she saw the head of Omega Group, Zaza Okuashvili and Besarion Keidia. She says Keidia and Badri Patarkatsishvili had same lawyers, therefore, she did not rule out that the late tycoon might had been also involved in that deal of license seizure.
“The transfer of the control stock was in question - Zaza Okuashvili was selling and Besarion Keidia was buying. If my memory does not fail me, it was the deal of 15 million. When I started to read the contract and reached the section of percentage, Zaza Okuashvili objected to this as he did not want to give up the control stock. Finally, when I realized that the parties could not agree, I left the premises of the TV company so that the contract was not signed.
Ginturi also said that seven months later, on December 7th, the notarial registration of the transfer of the shares of Ilioni LTD, i.e. the 25% of Iberia TV, on Davit Kakauridze was carried out in her notary bureau.
In his turn, the prosecutor of the case, Emzar Gagnidze, told journalists after the hearing that Besarion Keidia mentioned by the witness while describing the events of May 2004, was the person authorized by the governmental officials and his mission was to force Zaza Okuashvili to give up his control stock of 51% in Omega Group, to which Zaza Okuashvili resisted.
As for the alleged links of Badri Patarkatsishvili with the failed deal, the prosecutor denied this version and explained to the reporters that the supposition of notary Ginturi on possible connection between Keidia and Patarkatsishvili might have been caused by their business relations, as Keidia had business relations with Patarkatsishvili and they had the same lawyers.
According to the prosecutor, the contract signed on December 7th , by which Zaza Okuashvili had to give up the license of Iberia TV, was the continuation of the failed deal earlier in May.
“Nunu Ginturi confirmed to the court that in 2004 Zaza Okuashvili was forced to give up the control stock in the company, I mean, 51% of the shares. However, when the notary looked into the circumstances, she refused to sign the deal and left the territory of the TV Company. As for the developments a few months later, those that occurred in December, it was the period, when Zaza Okuashvili and his companies were subjected to intensive attacks and pressure that caused the suspension of their work. Zaza Okuashvili had to give up the Iberia TV license as required by Zurab Adeishvili and Giorgi Latsabidze, because, otherwise, the companies of Omega Group would not be allowed to resume functioning.
As for the position of the defense, the lawyer of Zurab Adeishvili, Shota Kakhidze accused the prosecution of continuing interrogations of the witnesses “saying nothing”.
He said the testimony of today’s witness in no way proved that his defendant had committed the crime in question.
“The witness did not give any relevant information today. She spoke about an ordinary notary action carried out in the past”, - said the lawyer.
It should be noted that the case of Iberia TV closure and the seizure of its broadcasting license was investigated by the prosecutor’s office in February, 2016. According to the investigation body, former prosecutor general Zurab Adeishvili and his first deputy Giorgi Latsabidze were prosecuted for this crime.
The next hearing on the case will be held at 12:00 on January 24th.