Ex-President Saakashvili Comments on TBC Bank Developments

Georgia’s third President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is in exile in The Netherlands due to various charges against him in Georgia, has taken to Facebook to comment on the recent developments surrounding the largest bank in Georgia – TBC.

Saakashvili says that TBC Bank founder Khazaradze’s property and assets grew five times during his presidency, but mentioned that he [Saakashvili] had pressured him.

“During my presidency, my property did not increase, while Khazaradze’s went up five times. He accused me of pressure while Bidzina Ivanishvili is trying to take away all his assets,” Saakashvili’s Facebook post reads, referring to the founder and Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The ex-President says if Khazaradze is not sent to jail, he should go to a monastery and live there.

“If I were him [Khazaradze], I would go to a monastery and repent for supporting Ivanishvili in the elections,” he said.

In his interview with Kviris Palitra, the TBC Bank founder stated he does not rule out his detention, noting that speculations about his detention are an attempt to exert psychological pressure on him and his partners.

"Is this not psychological pressure?! Is this not leverage to influence my partners?" Khazaradze asked, naming himself a victim of the "state machine."

On February 14, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) stated that after examining transactions conducted by TBC Bank 2007-2008, it was revealed that the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze and his Deputy Japaridze had violated the requirements of the legislation regulating conflict of interests, therefore it suspended the authority of the two men.

Khazaradze filed a lawsuit against the regulator, but the supervisory board decided to withdraw it. It was followed by Khazaradze’s resignation as the board chair.

He announced he was leaving TBC, where he had spent 27 years. His deputy also decided to quit. However, Khazaradze and his deputy will keep positions at TBC Bank Group PLC, registered in London, UK, which keeps 100% shares of TBC Bank.

Khazaradze arrived in Parliament last week and raised the issue of responsibility of the National Bank President Koba Gvenetadze and his deputy. In addition, Khazaradze stated that he had received a threatening letter from Minister Gakharia.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze says that various political forces are trying to take the TBC Bank issue back to the political information field, adding it is “irresponsibility and an attempt to provide the population with distorted information.”

By Thea Morrison

Related stories:

PM Bakhtadze Comments on Developments around TBC Bank

Prosecutor’s Office Publishes Letter Presented by TBC Founder

Interior Minister Denies Sending letter to TBC Founder

Opposition Demands Fact-Finding Commission Concerning TBC

TBC Ready for Dialogue with National Bank

NGOs Question TBC Bank Investigation

Georgia’s Association of Banks Supports TBC

Minister of Economy Comments on TBC Bank Case

TBC Bank to Sue National Bank of Georgia



12 March 2019 10:25