Georgian oligarch and ruling party founder Ivanishvili sues Credit Suisse, accuses it of political pressure
Ivanishvili sues Credit Suisse bank
Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the ruling Georgian Dream party and former prime minister of Georgia, is suing Swiss Credit Suisse bank, accusing it of “political pressure”.
According to Cision, a public relations company representing Ivanishvili, he has not received the money that the bank owes him.
Cision serves Ivanishvili and other “victims of Credit Suisse”, as they are called in the company’s statement.
Cision claims that the beneficiaries demanded the money on March 4, 2022, and the trustee agreed to the transaction only on April 4, which is why Bidzina Ivanishvili suffered financial damage.
The statement does not say what kind of financial damage was caused to Ivanishvili and what kind of transactions the Swiss bank delayed.
The fact that Ivanishvili won the case against the Swiss bank Credit Suisse became known at the end of March from the publication of the Financial Times.
Cision said in a statement that the bank cited the “geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe”, which has hampered its core functions, as the main reason for the delay in the transfer.
The PR company says the beneficiaries, including Ivanishvili, have nothing to do with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and no sanctions have been imposed against them. The company representing Bidzina Ivanishvili believes that Ivanishvili is not only discriminated against but also a victim of political pressure from Credit Suisse.
“Mr. Ivanishvili is extremely dissatisfied with the way his assets are being managed. In fact, we are in a situation where the actions of the trustee are completely contrary to its purpose and principles.
Bidzina Ivanishvili, the former Prime Minister of Georgia, has dual citizenship from France and Georgia and is not and cannot be included in the list of sanctioned organizations and individuals. This information is public, but the trustee failed to verify this public information in a timely manner, and Mr. Ivanishvili was likely the victim of not only discrimination, but also a campaign of political pressure from the bank”, the company said.
According to the PR company, Bidzina Ivanishvili will hold several press conferences for international media in the coming weeks “to show in detail how Credit Suisse, the Swiss banking system as a whole works, and how vulnerable any client can be when investing in the Swiss financial sector”.
The reaction of the authorities
Following Ivanishvili’s PR campaign, representatives of the ruling party commented on the circumstances of the dispute, linking them to the political processes around Georgia.
“If someone tries to include Bidzina Ivanishvili in Georgian politics against his will, in order for the country to get involved in a war, I consider this at least unacceptable and fundamentally wrong. If someone makes such an attempt, then he does not know Bidzina Ivanishvili well”, said Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Georgian Dream.
The journalists asked him to comment on the statements of certain supporters of the ruling party that the United States, which wants to “draw Georgia into the war”, allegedly stands behind the decisions of the Swiss.
Kobakhidze actually agreed with this statement, stating that “we see some coordination, and if this coordination raises questions, then this is probably logical”.
As examples of “coordination”, he cited the “illogical” decision of the President of Ukraine to recall the ambassador from Georgia, as well as a telephone conversation between the Russian oligarch Yevtushenkov, who is close to Vladimir Putin, against whom sanctions have been imposed, and Bidzina Ivanishvili. Later, the wiretap of this conversation got into the Georgian media.
“You know that the Swiss banking system has had a high degree of trust for decades, and the whole state system has practically supported it, and when one part of such a banking system, a particular Swiss bank, blocks transfers for a month, this raises additional questions”. Kobakhidze explains.
Opposition: “Kobakhidze confirmed Ivanishvili’s anti-American position”
According to Khatia Dekanoidze, the leader of the opposition faction of the Georgian parliament, the United National Movement, Irakli Kobakhidze’s statement “confirms the anti-American and anti-Western position of Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Transparency International: Georgian oligarch Ivanishvili owns at least one business in Russia
Bidzina Ivanishvili’s business in Russia: Between 2012-2019, the oligarch and founder of Georgia’s ruling party owned at least 10 companies in Russia, now he owns at least one, Transparency International claims
On March 24, the Financial Times published information that a Swiss bank lost a dispute against Bidzina Ivanishvili in a Bermuda court.
The former prime minister is suing Credit Suisse over allegations that the bank failed to stop the fraud of its personal banker, Patrick Lescaudron, which resulted in Ivanishvili losing about $400 million in assets when there were clear signs of it.