On 19 June 2015, on air on the talk show, Archevani, members of the Tbilisi City Assembly, Irakli Abesadze and Beka Natsvlishvili, discussed problems at Tbilisi City Hall. A member of the City Assembly Minority, Irakli Abesadze, stated that Vake District’s Deputy Governor ("gamgebeli"), Mamuka Tsaava, had taken money in exchange for giving someone a job at the Vake District Local Administration. Beka Natsvlishvili, a member of the City Assembly Majority, responded that Mr Tsaava was not appointed by the Georgian Dream and was working in the Vake District Local Administration before.

FactCheck took interest in the accuracy of the statements of the Tbilisi City Assembly members and verified their accuracy.

On 19 March 2015, servicemen of the Anti-Corruption Agency of Georgia arrested the Vake District’s Deputy Governor on charges of bribery. As stated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Tbilisi Municipality’s Vake District Deputy Governor, Mamuka Tsaava, promised a job to a citizen of Georgia in exchange for EUR 3,000. Mr Tsaava received this amount of money in individual payments making up the total.

On 22 March 2015, Tbilisi City Court decided to sentence Mamuka Tsaava to time in prison as a measure of restraint.

FactCheck contacted Tbilisi Municipality’s Vake District Local Administration with the following questions:

  • How long has Mamuka Tsaava been Tbilisi Municipality’s Vake District acting Deputy Governor and when was he officially appointed to this position?

  • Before his appointment, was Mamuka Tsaava occupying any other position in the Vake District Local Administration?

According to the reply received from the Vake District Local Administration, Mamuka Tsaava was appointed as the interim Deputy Governor on 6 October 2014 and appointed as the Deputy Governor on 20 February 2015 on a three-month probation period following a civil service competition. Before his appointment as the Deputy Governor, Mr Tsaava did not occupy any other position in the Vake District Local Administration.

Conclusion

Servicemen of the Anti-Corruption Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia did indeed arrest the Vake District’s Deputy Governor, Mamuka Tsaava, on charges of bribery. Mr Tsaava was appointed to the Vake District Local Administration after the Georgian Dream coalition’s victory in the local elections. Before that, he did not work in the Vake District Local Administration.

Therefore, Irakli Abesadze’s statement: "Your deputy governor was arrested on the charge of bribery when he took money in exchange for giving someone a job," is TRUE, whilst Beka Natsvlishvili’s statement: "Mamuka Tsaava was not an employee hired by us. He was working there before," is a LIE.


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