Scandal around ex-general prosecutor continues in Georgia; Vice-presidents leave the National Bank
Vice-presidents leave National Bank of Georgia
On September 20, two vice presidents of the National Bank of Georgia resigned.
Papuna Lezhava and Archil Mestvirishvili left their posts after the National Bank of Georgia restored access to personal bank accounts of Otar Partskhaladze, a former Prosecutor General under international sanctions.
“Friends and colleagues, I am leaving my post at the National Bank,” Mestvirishvili wrote on social media.
Papuna Lezhava sent a letter of resignation to the acting president of the National Bank, Natia Turnava.
“Papuna Lezhava informed me that he has written a resignation letter. He is a good professional, he has worked in the National Bank for so many years. I want to say that different people, my current or former colleagues, may have their own views on this or that topic. I have no doubt that there should not be two opinions when it comes to the implementation of the Constitution of Georgia by the National Bank and its compliance with it, as well as the protection of the fundamental rights of the citizens of Georgia. My position here is clear and irrevocable,” Turnava said.
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On September 14, the United States imposed sanctions against Otar Partskhaladze. This is related to his business activities and cooperation with the Russian FSB. Before the official announcement of the decision, the media reported that a “Georgian-Russian oligarch” was among those subject to sanctions.
According to the US State Department, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) worked with Otar Partskhaladze to influence Georgian society and politics in favor of Russia.
In addition, the U.S. State Department statement said that in addition to Partskhaladze, sanctions were imposed on Russian intelligence officer Alexander Onishchenko, who allegedly helped “his accomplice Partskhaladze obtain a Russian passport and possibly Russian citizenship.”
On September 18, it became known that the National Bank of Georgia restricted former Prosecutor General and under U.S. sanctions Otar Partskhaladze’s access to bank assets and financial transactions. All his accounts have been frozen.
As the National Bank explained, the sanctioned person is restricted both in the disposal of funds and in the ability to conduct all types of financial transactions.