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Court removes seizure

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 6
A judge of Tbilisi City Court wrote in a verdict that the seizure of 41 properties of the bankrupted Centre Point Group construction company must be removed from the prosecution's demands, which would enable the company to meet the demand of the affected consumers, who number several thousands.

The solution was part of the verdict which sent the founder of the company, Maia Rcheulishvili, and her sister, former official Rusudan Kervalishvili, to four years in prison for fraud and misspending othersí funds, which amounted to more than 15 million USD.

Soon after the courtís verdict, the prosecution offered a plea bargain if the company fulfilled their obligations and provided consumers with their own accommodations.

The prosecution initially demanded the fulfilling of the precondition without the removal of the seizure of the companyís properties.

However, the lawyers of the arrested founders claimed it would be impossible to complete the construction projects without the seized property.

They stated the company planned to sell some of the land plots in order to finish the flats for the affected consumers.

The lawyers stressed that some business people were already interested in the purchase of some of the land that was returned to the company.

They also stated there was no exact figure of the affected consumers, and said the alleged number could be about 3,000 and not more than 6,000 as was reported by the prosecution.

The lawyers claimed that over the years the number of affected consumers was decreasing, as the company managed to finish some blocks of flats.

The removal of the seizure on the properties will officially come into effect on May 1, if neither the defence side nor the prosecution appeal the Tbilisi City Courtís verdict to the Court of Appeals.

The defence does not plan to appeal the solution, only in case the sides will agree to the plea bargain.

The Centre Point Group went bankrupt after the 2008 war. The company was taken over by DEXUS, which promised to fulfil the obligations of the Centre Point Group. However, the situation remained unchanged.