The legacy of dead oligarch is still divided in Tbilisi02.01.2010 | 11:15
Alongside with the opposition's spring attacks, one of the main events of the coming year in Georgia will, perhaps, imply the long-lasting lawsuit between the relatives of tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili on the one part and his step-brother Joseph Kay (Joseph Kakalashvili) who has announced himself to be the disposer of the property of the deceased, on the other part.
The next day after the death of the businessman, Patarkatsishvili's house in London was visited by his relative, his longtime partner at the Public Russia Television Joseph Kay who presented to Inna Gudavadze, the widow of the deceased, a will stating that he was appointed the disposer of Badri Patarkatsishvili's property and received the right to collect and distribute the property among the heirs.
"Indeed, this scoundrel, Kay, worked with my husband at the Public Russian Television (PRT), but he is lying when he says that Badri entrusted him with his will. He never showed us any will - just a photograph on a laptop, that is all", - Inna Gudavadze stated.
Patarkatsishvili's family called him an intruder and made a complaint about the documents forgery. The case was passed to the court.
Today, the situation with this lawsuit goes as follows: as is known, Patarkatshishvili's family has stated once again that despite their numerous requests Kay never presented the original of the document and that Kay's defense presents only its copies in court.
However, at the beginning of last year, the city court of Tbilisi (and in July, the court of appeal as well) admitted Kay to be the administrator of the tycoon's will; however, it denied his request to admit him the disposer of the inherited property.
Indeed, having fulfilled Inna Gudavadze's demand on the non-recognition of Kay as the property disposer, the city court of Tbilisi simultaneously confirmed his rights as the executor of the will itself.
Meanwhile, Lasha Birkaya, the attorney of Badri Patarkatsishvili's family, presented new evidence of the forgery of the businessman's will provided by the London court.
"The court of London provided us with a computer data restoration expert's opinion, which states unambiguously that the documents, specifically, the will and the administrator appointment act were created after Badri Patarkatsishvili's death. The computer expert also stated that there are a lot of versions of the will and the administrator appointment act; approximately, there are eleven of them", - attorney Lasha Birkaya stated at the press-conference.
Moreover, the specified evidence turned out to be sufficient for the English court to arrest Kay's personal property and issue a warrant to search his office.
The situation seems to be rather delicate for the Georgian president. The court of Tbilisi, of which independence and objectiveness the Georgian president is so fond of boasting in the presence of the foreign visitors, refused to admit Joseph Kay as the administrator of the late tycoon's property; at the same time, it ordered him to go on executing Patarkatsishvili's will.
That is a rather strange legal wording indeed; It obviously covers a well-known background primarily connected with the transaction on selling the Imedi ("Hope") TV company that belonged to Patarkatsishvili.
Having announced himself the executor of Patarkatsishvili's property, Joseph Kay hurriedly started off for Tbilisi, where he immediately re-registered the Imedi TV company in his name. The company management, being officially in possession of Imedi, referred to the fact that Kay delivered an oral dying order given by Patarkatsishvili. In fact, "the most objective court in the Caucasus" never doubted the legality of Joseph Kay's rights for the TV company.
A famous Georgian expert Georgiy Khukhashvili believes that "the authorities were primarily interested in the Imedi company, that is why Kay sold it to Rakin-Investment almost at once, the latter being a company connected with Saakashvili's team; thus, he won the Georgian government's support in executing Patarkatsishvili's will, including the support of the courts".
Members of Patarkatsishvili's family also blamed the authorities for providing secret support to Kay, so long as the Imedi TV company "illegally appropriated" by Joseph Kay, in their opinion, is now carrying out "the information policy that is beneficial to the authorities".
The Imedi TV company, which was established by Badri from scratch (being the actual director of the Public Russian Television, he erected a new huge building and trained the young, "green" journalists from point zero), became a powerful weapon led by the tycoon, whose relationship with Saakashvili's team were marred soon after the Rose Revolution.
Saakashvili believed that the governmental criticism on the part of Imedi was ordered directly by the Imedi owner. After Patarkatsishvili refused to sell Imedi even for one billion dollars (that was the price for the Georgian Railways JSC offered to the authorities in exchange for Imedi), Mikhail Saakashvili realized that Patarkatsishvili needed his television not to protect his business in Georgia but to implement his far-reaching plans.