Romeo Mikautadze, the former first deputy minister of economy of Georgia

The Deputy Ministers of Economy and Defense, Romeo Mikautadze and Lela Chikovani, whose potential involvement in corrupt activities was reported by the media, were dismissed from their positions.

“There has been considerable speculation about this matter. Yesterday, during a live broadcast, I issued a statement affirming that there is no foundation for these speculations. There have been no investigations, interrogations, or inquiries directed towards my first deputy. This individual executed their duties with a high level of professionalism, and their departure from our ministry was a personal decision. This comprises all the pertinent information regarding this matter. If there are any further questions, it's important to note that many of these opinions stem from specific program broadcasts. Unfortunately, these shows tend to exhibit inherent biases, which is where much of this speculation originates. Nevertheless, our ministry continues to operate as usual, driven by the same dedicated team that has been serving for years,” stated Davitashvili.

The report detailing the alleged corruption scheme involving the acquisition of state property by former First Deputy Minister of Economy, Romeo Mikautadze, was prepared by Pirveli TV.

Blueberry Lab LLC was established in 2019 by citizen Nino Kardava. Two weeks after its formation, the state granted 133,190 square meters of land to the company on a 25-year lease for 437 GEL per month and allocated 90,000 GEL for the planting of blueberry gardens. In 2021, Nino Kardava transferred a 33% share each to Romeo Mikautadze and Bachana Suladze, director of JSC GES Sakrusenergo. Subsequently, in 2022, Romeo Mikautadze's company purchased 133,000 square meters of land without auction, through a direct sale, at approximately 1.12 GEL per square meter. Mikautadze acquired this property from the State Property Agency under his ministry. Concurrently, Romeo Mikautadze and former Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili are known to share a warm and friendly relationship.

The new Minister of Defense, Irakli Chikovani, also refuted the information suggesting that Deputy Minister Lela Chikovani was dismissed from her position due to an alleged case of high-level corruption.

“No one was sacrificed” - this is the decision I made based on consultations. I discussed this with Lela Chikovani and expressed my gratitude for her service. When a new minister is appointed to a particular position, their deputies are also relieved of their duties,” stated the Minister of Defense.

Lela Chikovani, the former first deputy defense minister

According to Pirveli TV, the Ministry of Defense sent Lela Chikovani's son to America on a special mission, financed his expenses, and subsequently renovated a two-story house in the city of Baltimore in his name.

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