After the chairman of the ruling party, Irakli Kobakhidze, called the possible seizure of accounts for the former Prosecutor General Otar Partskhaladze “unconstitutional,” the National Bank changed the procedure for implementing the sanctions regime. The changes on the order of the President of the National Bank of August 8 were introduced on September 19.
The order is signed by Natia Turnava, acting President of the National Bank.
The only citizen of Georgia who has been subjected to international financial sanctions, is former Prosecutor General Otar Partskhaladze.
The National Bank published a statement regarding the mentioned change.
“Since February 26, 2022, according to the instructions of the National Bank of Georgia, the financial institutions of Georgia are fully operating in accordance with the financial sanctions imposed by the USA, the European Union and Great Britain against the Russian Federation.
“We remind you that the Georgian financial sector operates in full compliance with the requirements stipulated by the sanction regimes. Georgia has never been and will not become a place to evade sanctions in the future.
“In addition, in this process, there is a first precedent when such sanctions were applied to a citizen of Georgia.
“Every citizen of Georgia is protected by the Constitution of Georgia. The National Bank of Georgia, guided by the Constitution of Georgia and the principle of innocence, believes that international sanctions cannot be applied to a Georgian citizen, unless there is a judgment of conviction issued by the Georgian court against him.
“In order to fully realize the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Georgia guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia, the National Bank of Georgia developed and implemented an amendment to the order of the President of the National Bank of Georgia dated August 4, 2023 N208/04, according to which the sanctions regimes provided for in this rule apply:
a) on a citizen of Georgia, if a judgment of conviction has been issued by the court of Georgia in connection with the basis of the sanctions imposed on him;
b) on a legal entity registered in Georgia, the share of which is owned by a sanctioned Georgian citizen (s), if a judgment of conviction has been issued by the court of Georgia in connection with the basis of the sanctions imposed on him.
“The National Bank of Georgia, in the event of detecting signs of crime during the oversight process, is obliged to immediately inform the relevant authorities for further response.
“The National Bank of Georgia will carefully study and take special control over each possible case of sanctions evasion and risks.
“The National Bank of Georgia is ready to provide international partners with information about the details of the mentioned decision,” reads the statement of the National Bank.
Otar Partskhaladze is a Georgian-Russian businessman and former statesman who served as the Prosecutor General of Georgia in 2013.
On 7 November 2013, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili appointed Partskhaladze as Prosecutor General. He resigned due to allegations that he had been convicted of robbery in Germany in 2001.
In November 2018, he was charged with beating the former head of the State Audit Office, Lasha Tordia, in May 2017, and granted 5,000 GEL bail. He has been involved in several other high-profile incidents. Several days before his resignation, Partskhaladze admitted to assaulting a police officer in 2010.
On 24 February 2021, Partskhaladze received Russian citizenship. From September 2022, he was recorded in the Russian Federation Unified State Register of Entrepreneurs and owned shares in Russian-based company.
On 14 September 2023, the United States sanctioned Partskhaladze for “operating or having operated in the management consulting sector of the Russian Federation economy.” According to the US State Department, Partskhaladze “worked with the Russian Federal Security Service to influence Georgian politics and society to benefit Russia.