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Ex-official claims he was offered secret recordings

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, February 9
The former Deputy Chief Prosecutor under the United National Movement (UNM) leadership, Davit Sakvarelidze, says the ex-Deputy Prosecutor under the current ruling Georgian Dream (GD) authorities, Lasha Natsvlishvili, wanted to sell secret audio recordings of the GD founder, tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, for six million USD.

Sakvarelidze, who served as Deputy Prosecutor General in 2008-2012 when the United National Movement (UNM) party was ruling the country, claims that in late 2013 Natsvlishvili offered him and his friend secret recordings of Ivanishvili’s phone conversations about six million dollars.

“We did not have millions, so we could not afford to buy the recordings,” Sakvarelidze stated from Ukraine, where he lived since 2015.

Sakvarelidze’s statement was confirmed by Nika Gvaramia, Director General of Georgia’s opposition-minded TV channel.

Gvaramia says that he is the one who met Natsvlishvili and was offered to buy the recordings.

“Natsvlishvili kept the materials in Yerevan at one of his friend’s places, and they include illegal recordings of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s conversations,” Gvaramia said, adding that Natsvlishvili said the cost of the materials was several million dollars.

“I told him I had no money. He asked me to connect him with one of the leaders of United National Movement living in Kiev. One of them was Davit Sakvarelidze,” Gvaramia added.

Lasha Natsvlishvili denies all the allegations, saying the former officials blame him because of his comments that the UNM, along with Gvaramia, are trying to pressure and influence the judges.

“I think they were irritated by my comments about them. They only have slander and moral terror left in their meager political arsenal,” he said.

Several days ago, Lasha Natsvlishvili stated that ex-President Saakashvili, the UNM party and Nika Gvaramia “are exerting unprecedented pressure on the courts”, and are trying to bribe or intimidate judges in order to make them rule in favor of them.