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Patarkatsishvili family claims to have evidence of Berezovsky visiting Tbilisi

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, September 24
More details have been revealed about the alleged visit of exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky to Georgia, in which he is believed to have visited the grave of late Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsisvhili at his former home. The family of Patarkatsishvili, who was a friend and a business partner of Berezovsky, released a statement yesterday saying that they possess “unquestionable” evidence - footage from CCTV cameras installed in Patarkatsishvili’s residence in Avlabari - that Berezovsky visited Georgia on the night of September 11-12.

The family’s statement says the visit was “highly confidential” and that Patarkatsishvili family members had no knowledge of the visit or why it was being made. The alleged footage has not been made public so far. It has been suggested that Berezovsky also met Georgian politicians during his unannounced visit, but Tbilisi denies that either meetings or a visit have taken place.

Allegations about the Russian tycoon making a secret visit to Georgia were made on September 19 by Georgian news agency Interpressnews. This reported, citing an anonymous source, that Berezovsky had visited the grave of Patarkatsishvili and spent about 40 minutes there. Interpressnews also published brief comments from Berezovsky in which he neither confirmed nor denied this, saying that he does not make information about his movements public.

“I don’t make comments about my movements around the world for understandable reasons. I would only note that for some purpose a lot of information is being spread, and very often the information is not true,” Interpressnews quoted Berezovsky as saying, When asked by the journalist if he was planning to visit Tbilisi, Berezovsky answered “I am an optimist and I have no doubt that I will have a chance to visit Georgia.” The Georgian Interior Ministry then denied media speculation that Berezovsky had already visited Georgia. Later Interpressnews reported that “according to unconfirmed information” Berezovsky’s plane had been seen at Tbilisi International Airport late on the night of September 17 and left in two hours. There was no information as to who exactly was on board the plane.

The spokesperson of Patarkatsishvili’s family, Nona Kandiashvili, refused to give any more information than that released in a statement when asked, saying that she was not authorised to reveal any more to the media. Speaking to The Messenger, she said she had no information as to whether the law enforcement agencies had contacted Patarkatsishvili’s family or not.

Head of the Analytical Department of the Georgian Interior Ministry Shota Utiashvili said on Wednesday that he had not been informed of the alleged evidence by Patarkatsishvili’s family. He once more denied that Berezovsky had visited. “We have checked and found that Berezovsky has not crossed the Georgian border,” Utiashvili told The Messenger. “We would like to see this footage, if the family decides to show it,” the Interior Ministry spokesperson said when asked if he would be interested in doing so.