Tbilisi appellate court rejects opposition coalition leader’s application to restore Georgian citizenship
Georgia, Tbilisi, June 29 / Trend N. Kirtzkhalia /
The Tbilisi appellate court has rejected restoring Georgian citizenship of billionaire and leader of the Georgia Dream opposition coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Judge Tea Dzimistarashvili said today that the City Court's decision of deprivation of Ivanishvili's citizenship remains in force.
Ivanishvili may appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision in the Georgian Supreme Court. His lawyers will receive the court's decision within 14 days and then they can appeal it in the Supreme Court within 21 days.
Bidzina Ivanishvili was deprived of Georgian citizenship by the Georgian President's decree in October 2011, a few days after his first political statements. In late December 2011, the Tbilisi City Court decided to restore the citizenship of Ivanishvili's wife Catherine Khvedelidze, but the decree in respect of the oligarch remained in force.
The Georgian authorities firmly explained that Ivanishvili was deprived of his citizenship in a lawful manner. As a Russian citizen, he received not only Georgian but French citizenship. The Civil Registry Agency offered him to the facility to apply the procedure of obtaining dual citizenship, but Ivanishvili's lawyers insist on his right to obtain citizenship through naturalisation.
The lawyers of the Georgia Dream political coalition filed a complaint against the Georgian government to the UN Commission on Human Rights, which violated the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. According to the spokesperson for the coalition Maya Panjikidze, the lawsuit was filed on June 20. According to it, coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili was deprived of Georgian citizenship. He was also denied of getting citizenship by naturalisation.
The coalition said that as the Georgian government is deliberately delaying the proceedings on Ivanishvili's citizenship and does everything to ensure the lawyers fail to appeal the decision of the courts in the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights before the elections, the coalition decided to make a claim to the Commission on Human Rights.