07TBILISI2131, GOG PROPERTY GRANT TO JUDGES’ ASSOCIATION RAISES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2131 2007-08-24 12:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9307
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2131 2361219
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 241219Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7424
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002131 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC, EUR/RPM AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/24/2017 
TAGS: PGOV ECON GG
SUBJECT: GOG PROPERTY GRANT TO JUDGES' ASSOCIATION RAISES 
EYEBROWS 
 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Mark X. Perry, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1.  (U) On June 5, in accord with Georgia's effort to fight 
corruption among judges, President Saakashvili issued a 
decree directing the Ministry of Economic Development to sell 
a building and adjoining property in the Tbilisi suburb of 
Saburtalo to a "community-based organization," Temida.  The 
decree further stated that the members of Temida, who are 
current judges of the Georgian Supreme Court, the Tbilisi 
Court of Appeal and the Tbilisi City Court, should be granted 
apartments in the building.  The sales price of the property 
was USD 200,000, or USD 17.50 per square meter.  The Ministry 
completed the transfer of the building to Temida on June 25. 
 
2.  (U) The opposition Republican Party, in particular, 
objected strongly to the sale.  They contend that buildings 
and land in the same area are being sold for USD 1690 per 
square meter, although we are unable to confirm this is the 
going price in the area of the building.  According to real 
estate experts, finished apartments can sell for from USD 
350-1500 per square meter in Tbilisi, depending on location. 
We have no information about the condition of the building or 
whether it is intended to be demolished or renovated by the 
new owners. 
 
3.  (C) On August 20, Charge met with Zurab Adeishvili, 
General Prosecutor of Georgia.  Charge suggested to 
Adeishvili that selling property at a discount price to the 
judges' organization, for the use of judges while they are in 
office, may be justifiable.  However, granting property to 
judges in their individual capacities and their heirs could 
reasonably call into question the independence of the judges 
from government influence.  Such an impression defeats 
government efforts to improve the reputation of the judiciary 
for fairness.  Adeishvili said that he had personally opposed 
the grant of property to the judges, but had lost the 
argument within the government.  He said the government has a 
statutory obligation to provide housing benefits for sitting 
judges, and this was the manner in which the government 
decided to fulfill it.  He would have preferred to see a cash 
grant to the judges to meet their housing needs.  He 
suggested that it would be better for the Embassy to raise 
the issue with the Chairman of the Supreme Court, Kote 
Kublashvili, because, according to Adeishvili, it was the 
judge's organization that had made the decision to transfer 
the property to individual judges after taking title to it. 
We intend to raise the issue with Kublashvili at the next 
opportunity. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

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