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Opposition MP Melia’s mandate terminated

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, December 13
The Committee on Procedural Issues and Rules unanimously supported the termination of Nika Melia's term of office.

On December 12, the Committee on Procedural Issues and Rules of the Parliament of Georgia discussed "the issue of early termination of the Member of Parliament's mandate for Member of Parliament Nikanor Melia". Later on, the MPs voted for the decision at the parliamentary session – 88 votes for, none against. It is noteworthy that opposition MPs refused to attend the session in protest.

National Movement MP Nika Melia's termination of office came after a 7-year investigation when the court accused Melia of attempting to bankrupt Ivanishvili’s Cartu Bank.

In 2012, after Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream came to power, the Interior Ministry said it had investigated and deciphered an organized-crime scheme. The investigation alleges that National Movement's political, executive and legislative authorities intend to bankrupt Cartu in order to avenge Bidzina Ivanishvili.

According to the Tbilisi City Court ruling, Zurab Adeishvili auctioned Cartu property by law manipulation. Then, according to Nika Melia’s order, offshore companies were allowed to auction without a mandatory guarantee amount, which won high bids but deliberately failed to pay the fee. As a result, the property was transferred to the Ministry of Economy, where the property was sold at unrealistically low prices. Finally, Cartu failed to repay the 140 million GEL loan.

According to the court ruling, former Minister of Justice Zurab Adeishvili was sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in absentia. He was fully convicted of abusing and exceeding official authority, as well as concealing property in a fraudulent or hypocritical manner.

“In the context of Gavrilov's case, due to pressure from the international community, my arrest was not possible, and they soon realized that it would take about 10 months for a conviction, which certainly did not suit Ivanishvili. Consequently, the case that was previously on the shelf has accelerated,” said Melia, who does not plead guilty.

He thinks that in this way, the authorities are trying to stop the MP's authority to arrest him. Melia has had no immunity from the lawmaker protecting him. The Georgian Dream parliamentary majority made the decision after the case of June 20 rally.

On December 2, the Tbilisi City Court imposed a fine of GEL 25,000 on the former head of the National Bureau of Enforcement Nika Melia and stripped him of his right to hold office for 2 years and 3 months.

The former head of the National Bureau of Enforcement Nika Melia, former Minister of Justice Zurab Adeishvili and about 10 others were charged in late 2012.

Melia and Adeishvili have been charged with abuse of power and concealment of property through fraudulent or hypocritical transactions. The court found Melia guilty only of abuse of power.