New Instances of Land Seizure in Kobuleti
Transparency International Georgia has credible information that agricultural land plots have been seized in the villages of Gvara and Alambari in Kobuleti Municipality. According to some media reports, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development has sold land plots, the ownership of which had been transferred to some families in Kobuleti in 2008 by the local Commission on the Declaration of Property Rights. There is also information that the affected families are being threatened not to disclose the fact of the seizure.
According to Lasha Ananidze, the Deputy Chairman of the Kobuleti Sakrebulo’s Commission on the Declaration of Property Rights, the property rights certificates issued by the Commission were not registered by their owners at the Public Registry, which is a necessary prerequisite to become a lawful owner. According to the preliminary information, the majority of the victims are owners that have officially registered their property at the Public Registry. However, there are a number of families who could not complete all the procedures prescribed by law.
We urge the Ministry of Finance and Economy of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara to address the issue, improve the situation and not to infringe the rights of private owners while administering the State’s property. In addition, we urge the Public Registry to inspect more scrupulously and verify the fact of absence of other person’s property rights on a given territory (including property registered by paper version of the cadastral drawing) before registering it as a state property.
Transparency International Georgia with its partner NGOs will keep the track of all such facts, provide affected owners with legal assistance and protect their rights and lawful interests.