Gocha Dzasokhov gets back to Georgia?14.02.2013 | 15:43
Will the businessman Gocha Dzasokhov return to Georgia? Disgraced tycoon has got such a chance after the change of power. Businessman, who was expelled from Georgia during the reign of Mikheil Saakashvili, has already taken the first step to establish contacts with the new leadership: he has met with Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II in Moscow.
"We leave in Georgia only the name Gocha Dzasokhov". This phrase, in the words of Dzasokhov, belongs to the former Prosecutor General and Minister of Justice of Georgia Zurab Adeishvili. Still, after the "Rose Revolution" and the coming to power of Mikheil Saakashvili Dzasokhov was one of the people close to the president. But later their ways have parted. The conflict has gone so far that Dzasokhov left Georgia for Russia. But has he left the country for ever?
Gocha Dzasokhov started business activities in Georgia in 1990, when he founded the agricultural holding company. The firm owned the plants for processing grapes, apples and citrus. Gocha Dzasokhov took 47th place in the ranking of the world's wealthiest Georgians.
In Georgia, Dzasokhov's business interests focused on real estate, banking, hospitality sector, the production of sugar, fruit juice concentrates, fruit, dairy and canning industry.
The Georgian public has little information about Dzasokhov. Prior to the conflict with president Saakashvili, he preserved "low profile" in public.
The first confrontation occurred after Mikheil Saakashvili's and other officials' idea to create an organization "Kokoity Fandarast" (Kokoity go away). Dzasokhov opposed this decision, since he believed that it would not help to solve the conflict between Georgians and Ossetians. Although Gocha Dzasokhov voiced this protest in a private conversation, his words soon reached the country's leaders.
Dzasokhov was offered high positions in the alternative government of South Ossetia, which is headed by Dmitry Sanakoev. Instead of this Gocha Dzasokhov has criticized the idea of creating an alternative government calling it "senseless and adventure", and refused to enter politics. There was even talk that he had offered the candidacy of Sanakoev, just not to participate in the process. Following the denial the open persecution against him has started.
This information was confirmed by the well-known lawyer Gela Nikolaishvili. "As far as I know, Dzasokhov was offered to take the post, which was later took by Sanakoev", Nikolaishvili said in an interview to GeorgiaTimes. "But he refused. Then he was taken off all the business in Georgia, the largest of which was sugar factory in the village of Agara. It supplies almost the entire country with the sugar. Dzasokhov was forced to leave Georgia because he was threatened with arrest. This all has happened because he had opposed Saakashvili", said Nikolaishvili.
After the 2008 war, Dzasokhov publicly opposed the actions of the Georgian authorities. In response, the Georgian authorities sold all of his business assets. Thus, the Georgian-German company producing baby food "Hipp-Georgia" bought part of the property of the "Georgian Products" at the auction. Other property also has been sold out. And the most Dzasokhov was sentenced to nine years in prison in absentia on charges of financial fraud.
The name of Gocha Dzasokhov once again "emerged" recently, in late January, when he met with Catholicos of All Georgia Ilia II in Moscow. According to the most Dzasokhov, at the meeting they discussed the issue of release of the Ossetians who were in prisons in Georgia. However, in Tskhinval, the fact that one of the leaders of the Moscow Ossetian community met with a representative of the country, condemned for atrocities against the Ossetian people, was considered unacceptable. At the same time, Dzasokhov believes that it is necessary to use the positive trends after the change of power in Georgia, and to continue the dialogue in order to achieve peace. Nevertheless, part of Ossetian community says they will create another organization, if the people who met with the Patriarch of Georgia remain in the community.
The people who know Dzasokhov note that he has not lost hope to return to Georgia. Accordingly, the businessman intends to return the lost business assets. Perhaps, the meeting between Patriarch and Dzasokhov was one of the first attempts to establish contacts with the new leadership of Georgia which had been openly supported by Dzasokhov in the course of the parliamentary election. Apparently, this time the business and politics for him - this is quite compatible concepts.