The National Bank of Georgia issued a statement alerting the public to the amendment to its regulation that the Bank’s president promulgated and published in the official gazette today, and that would shield Otar Partskhaladze, sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury, from his assets and transactions being targeted in Georgia. This represents the reversal of the decision published yesterday by the National Bank and follows the subsequent criticism of that decision by the ruling party chairman, Irakli Kobakhidze.
The new statement by the National Bank says while the Bank faithfully implements the international sanctions regime, sanctioning of Partskhaladze “sets a precedent when sanctions are applied to the Georgian citizen.”
Taking the line voiced by Kobakhidze yesterday, the statement reads, “The Georgian citizens are protected by the Constitution” the Bank, “being guided by the Constitution of Georgia and the presumption of innocence, considers that the Georgian citizen can not be subjected to international sanctions, in the absence of the conviction by the Georgian court.”
It continues to state that according to the amendment promulgated today, neither Georgian citizens nor the companies owned or co-owned by them can be sanctioned in the absence of a conviction by the Georgian court.
In June 2023, the ruling Georgian Dream voted to override the Presidential veto on the amendments to the Law on the National Bank. The President agreed with the National Bank’s view that the amendments would have risked its independence. According to the amendments that entered into force, Natia Turnava, former Minister of Economy, was appointed the First Vice-President of NBG.
In April 2023, the U.S. imposed visa restrictions on four top Georgian judges, saying “these individuals abused their positions as court Chairmen and Members of High Council of Justice, undermining the rule of law and the public’s faith in Georgia’s judicial system”