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Monday, March 12, 2018

Interview with Giorgi Salakaia: "Together we will defend Badagoni!"

exclusive

12.03.2018 (Hvino News).  Today Hvino News publishes an exclusive interview with Giorgi SALAKAIA, the owner and CEO of the Badagoni company.

Hvino News: Good afternoon, Mr. Giorgi. Thank you for answering our questions. Do you want to talk about the current situation around your company or, perhaps, about the prospects of Badagoni in the near future, after the difficult period is overcome?

Giorgi Salakaia: In today's reality, these are two interrelated themes. As a bolt from the blue, on February 7, the financial police unexpectedly entered the head office of our company in Tbilisi without any prior notification, and seized all financial and other documents, including electronic files and personal correspondence of our company employees who have no relation to the financial activities of Badagoni. Naturally, this action of the financial police, performed in a brutal style, had a negative impact both on the psychological state of our employees and on the overall state of Badagoni.

Hvino News: Why, in your view, did the situation immediately acquire such an acute form, instead of being regulated in a usual legal way?

Giorgi Salakaia: In fact, these kinds of situations in civilized countries are resolved in civil courts, and not through the power actions of the financial police. We assume that the main role is played by David Bezhuashvili [a businessman, former deputy of the Georgian parliament], and the mass medias which are under his control. It is no coincidence that on the second day after the financial police’s raid, the Georgian media published materials discrediting the employees of our company, as well as outright defamation regarding myself as owner of Badagoni. It is interesting that this started right after Badagoni was declared a “number one” brand in the Georgian wine market according to 2017’s export figures. Ironically, during the last week only, Badagoni wines have won five gold medals at the most prestigious international wine contests from Hong Kong to Germany.


Hvino News: Probably you do not want to repeat what you said in earlier interviews, but maybe there are some new details or circumstances that you would like to share with our readers?

Giorgi Salakaia: Recently, the Georgian and international media have published serious information about former so-called "partners" of Badagoni, who formally initiated the sudden activity of Georgia's financial police with regard to our company. I think the Georgian authorities should pay attention to the information about various financial frauds of the offshore company, which once owned part of the Badagoni’s shares, as well as the company's connections with the special services of foreign countries.

Hvino News: Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili promised to support you. On the other hand, ministries are dragging out the process of transferring the case to court. Why is this happening, in your view?

Giorgi Salakaia: I informed the Prime Minister of Georgia about the current situation. He expressed his support to Badagoni and promised that he personally would take control of both the investigation itself and its legitimacy. During our meeting, I felt his sincere desire to help in resolving the issue, since this situation concerns not only the Badagoni company, the financial and psychological state of our company employees, but also the international prestige of our country. I hope that the situation will soon be resolved and the matter will move to the right track - to a civil court.

Hvino News: You have repeatedly noted the importance of this case for the development of Georgia's democratic process. Do you think it can really damage not only business, but also the image of the country as a whole? And why did it become possible now?

Giorgi Salakaia: Almost all international organizations that have their offices in Georgia, as well as all embassies accredited in Georgia, are already aware of the current situation. They monitor the situation with Badagoni on a daily basis and do not tire of declaring support to our company and its employees. I think that says it all, and once again I want to note that I believe in a fair resolution of this issue.

Hvino News: Badagoni has a large number of fans who are loyal to your brand. And we all want to help the company in this difficult period. What can ordinary consumers do to support Badagoni?

Giorgi Salakaia: You are right, Badagoni throughout its 11-year history has acquired a huge number of consumers and fans all over the world. This is also confirmed by the fact that we receive supportive messages on a daily basis, almost every minute. I want to once again express my great gratitude for each of them! All this actually gives our whole team a great incentive to move forward, for further development and to fight for justice until the end! Together we will defend Badagoni!

Hvino News: Thank you for answers.

© Hvino News

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