Otar Partskhaladze, the former Prosecutor General of Georgia sanctioned by the US last week for promoting Russian interests, on Wednesday registered 12 of his real estate in the name of his son in an accelerated manner, following a controversial decree by the Georgian National Bank on Tuesday that exempted Georgian citizens from international sanctions without the judgment of domestic courts.
The decree may not spread to Partskhaladze, who took post in 2013, as according to the US Department of State he had obtained Russian citizenship without any previous requests to maintain Georgian citizenship, which means his Georgian citizenship will be automatically revoked if the claims are confirmed.
However, the Georgian Justice Ministry, which is “looking into the citizenship” issue, has not provided its conclusions so far, that gives time to Partskhaladze to carry out transactions and re-register his properties.
Three vice Presidents of the National Bank and an advisor to the Bank’s President resigned on Wednesday, after an acting President of the country’s top financial institution, former Economy Minister, Natia Turnava signed the decree.
The decision caused turmoil and clashes between the MPs of the ruling party and the opposition in the state legislature Wednesday, with the latter calling the current Government “pro-Russian” and accusing it of “undermining” the country’s future.
Later the same day, President Salome Zourabichvili accused Turnava of damaging the Bank’s and the country’s image and urged her to resign after several months in the post, adding she had “accepted the threats” of the ruling Georgian Dream party head Irakli Kobakhidze, who said last week sanctioning a Georgian citizen without the engagement of domestic courts would be “unconstitutional”.
In her remarks on Wednesday, Turnava claimed the decree concerned Georgian citizens in general rather than “specific individuals”, and cited the country’s constitution and the presumption of innocence.