The Tbilisi City Court exempted TBC Bank co-founders Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze and businessman Avtandil Tsereteli from criminal charges. All three were exempted from imprisonment.
Based on the judge’s decision, the article with which Khazaradze and Japaridze were charged was reclassified from money laundering to fraud.
However, they were exempted from imprisonment due to the statute of limitations.
Moreover, they were exempted from all the restrictions previously imposed, such as crossing the Georgian border and bail.
However, despite being exempted from imprisonment, TBC Bank co-founders and current leaders of the Lelo party Khazaradze and Japaridze claim that they will appeal the court’s decision.
“We will appeal against this decision because no crime was committed: it was a fight to save our financial institution,” this is how Badri Japaridze assessed the decision made by the court.
Japaridze said the decision is a continuation of the fraud that has been committed by the prosecution throughout this time.
“The falsity that we heard from the judge is very clear. In 2012, it turned out that we committed fraud, which was not even investigated, and neither the victim nor the complainant has been identified,” said Khazaradze, adding that the court decision is “nonsense.”
The Prosecutor’s Office accused Mamuka Khazaradze, Badri Japaridze and Avtandil Tsereteli of money laundering. The case concerns financial transactions made in 2008. Khazaradze and Japaridze were working for TBC Bank at that time.
The investigation into the said transactions started only in 2018, 10 years later. All three denied the allegations and considered the case to be politically motivated.
By Ana Dumbadze