Giorgi Gakharia: “The money with which my wife purchased an apartment in France has been included in my assets declaration for years.”
Verdict: FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Gakharia’s statement is TRUE.
Resume: Giorgi Gakharia has filled out asset declaration forms, mandatory for civil servants, since May 2013. The last time he filled out an asset declaration in April 2021 was in his capacity of former Prime Minister. In his very first declaration, Mr Gakharia also included his parents.
Judging from Giorgi Gakharia’s asset declarations, he indeed sold privately owned property and this is why the savings/money deposited in his and his wife’s accounts has increased. Therefore, FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Gakharia’s statement is true.
On 8 June 2021, on air on Inga Grigolia’s talk show, Reaktsia, the former Prime Minister of Georgia stated: “The money with which my wife purchased an apartment in France has been included in my asset declarations for years. All of these is publicly available.”
In 2013, Giorgi Gakharia was appointed as the Business Ombudsman of Georgia and filled out his first asset declaration in May 2013. According to Mr Gakharia’s very first declaration, he had GEL 1,500, USD 52,300 and RUB 35,600 in his personal bank accounts. At the same time, he and his family members owned an apartment and two garages on Amaghleba Street (Tbilisi) and an apartment on Nutsubidze Hill (Tbilisi) as well as two land plots in Tsavkisi (1,600 square metres) and the village of Khornabuji in the Sighnaghi municipality (280,000 square metres). In regard to Giorgi Gakharia’s property specifically, at that time he owned an apartment in Moscow (76 square metres) and his wife owned land in Tbilisi on Mazniashvili Street (395 square metres).
Afterwards, money deposited in the former Prime Minister’s bank accounts increased sharply in 2017 and amounted to GEL 8,450 and USD 452,900 in total. Of that amount, USD 350,000 was income received from selling real estate. The number of real estate items in Giorgi Gakharia’s asset declaration did decrease. The main reason behind this was removal of his parents from his asset declaration in 2017 as many real estate items were in their name. According to the 2017 asset declaration, Mr Gakharia’s wife owned land (395 square metres) on Mazniashvili Street in Tbilisi.
According to the latest declaration filled out in April 2021, Giorgi Gakharia purchased an apartment in France in 2020 for EUR 472,900 whilst he currently has GEL 14,449 in his personal bank accounts.
In total, in his capacity as the Business Ombudsman, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Prime Minister during 2013-2021 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), he filled out nine asset declarations. Of these, he filled out four asset declarations in the capacity of Business Ombudsman, one declaration in the capacity of Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development and two declarations each in the capacity of Minister of Internal Affairs and Prime Minister.
Given the aforementioned circumstances, Giorgi Gakharia’s statement that the money he spent to purchase an apartment had been previously included in his asset declarations and was earned from selling real estate is TRUE.