On the morning of October 13, schoolchildren were electrocuted in a recently restored fountain in Vake Park. A 13-year-old girl died of cardiac arrest, two of her peers remain in the hospital.
A 33% stake in Greenservice+ belongs to Lasha Purtsvanidze and Koba Kharshiladze. Many years ago, under the rule of the United National Movement, Purtsvanidze headed the council (gamgeoba) of Old Tbilisi, and Kharshiladze was his deputy. In addition, both were members of the commission that selected contractors for landscaping work in Old Tbilisi.
The Investigative Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia established that in 2007 two officials established Greenservice LLC, whose fictitious leaders were their acquaintances.
Purtsvanidze and Kharshiladze made sure that Greenservice easily received large contracts from the mayor’s office – tenders were announced on the basis of estimates compiled by them, which indicated the number and type of plants that Greenservice had previously purchased.
When Purtsvanidze and Kharshiladze ceased to be civil servants in 2010, they replaced the fictitious founders of Greenservice, dividing the company’s shares in half.
In 2013, an investigation was launched against the founders of the company. Subsequently, Purtsvanidze admitted to the charges against him and was released after paying a fine. Kharshiladze was sentenced to a fine and 2 years in prison
Until 2013, Greenservice won tenders worth about 8 million lari, including 407 thousand lari from direct purchases. The company was blacklisted after its management was found guilty of criminal activity, but another company of Purtsvanidze and Kharshiladze, Greenservice+ LLC, founded in 2010, continued to participate in tenders.
Since the beginning of 2013 and until recently, Greenservice+ has won electronic tenders in the amount of 21 million lari, and also received 95 thousand lari for simplified procurement. The Pirveli TV channel indicates that this company has participated in almost all major projects of the mayor’s office – for example, in the renovation of the square near the Georgian Parliament on Rustaveli Avenue.
Repair of fountains in Vakiya park
Tbilisi City Hall has announced a tender for the repair of fountains in Vake Park in September 2021. The estimated cost was 13.4 million lari.
The contract was signed with the Greenservice+ company, which agreed to perform the work for 11.8 million lari – this turned out to be the most profitable offer.
On August 26, 2022, an acceptance certificate was signed – a document confirming that the facility is ready for operation. He was assured by two employees of the environmental service of the Tbilisi City Hall – Lekso Utiashvili and Iuza Tsereteli, as well as the director of Greenservice + Lasha Purtsvanidze.
Four days before, the works were inspected by the accredited inspection body Mshenexpert. He confirmed that the contractor fulfilled its obligations in good faith, and the work carried out “complies with the building codes and regulations in force in Georgia.”
It is also known from the Mshenexpert report that the works on the power supply of the fountains were carried out by the Greenservice + contractor, the Georgia Union company. On June 25, 2022, a contract was signed with Georgia Union in the amount of more than 73 thousand lari. The agreement stated that “the quality of the object must comply with the standards and technical norms in this area.”
Georgia Union officially handed over the Greenservice + facility on August 15, 2022.
The tragedy that occurred in Vake Park less than a day after the opening of the fountains caused a huge public outcry – not only the opposition, but also ordinary citizens demanded the resignation of Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze on social networks. They accuse the mayor of corruption and employing unskilled construction companies.
In connection with the incident, the Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation under Part 1 of Article 240 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – a violation of security rules that resulted in the death of a person. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 4 to 7 years.