The Chairman of the Supervisory Council of the Agricultural and Free Universities Kakha Bendukidze has been summoned to the prosecutor's office. Bendukidze received the official notification from the investigator of especially grave crimes Davit Tevzadze on 17 March. According to it, Bendukidze has to appear before the prosecutor's office at 11 a.m. on 18 March.
On 17 March, the rector of the Agricultural University Lasha Gotsiridze was interrogated till late night. The investigation is studying the fact which took place in 2011. The rector of Agricultural University said that every legal procedure concerning that fact was strictly observed. In that year, 5 million 200 thousand USD was paid for the purchase of assets of the university. The deal included investment obligations on the part of the buyer. Even though these obligations envisaged 8 million GEL in investments, the actual amount invested for the development of Agricultural University made up 11 million 200 thousand USD, which is proved by the opinions of three independent auditor firms.
To support their rector, professors and students of the Agricultural University gathered outside the prosecutor's office. The parliamentary majority rules out any political motive behind this case whereas the United National Movement asserts the opposite.
The Agricultural University first came under attack in 2013 when it was stripped off its authorization. Namely, on 3 January 2013, the monitoring service of the Education Ministry launched the inspection at the time when there were holidays at the university.
The abolition of authorization of the Agricultural University triggered protest on the part of students and larger society. Back then, the students opposed the then Minister of Education Giorgi Margvelashvili. Following the protests, the authorization was reinstated to the university shortly.
Lasha Gotsiridze reckons that had the abolition of authorization proved successful, the criminal proceedings would have been launched immediately. However, the events unfolded according to different scenario and the Georgian government decided to put off its plan. Students of the Agricultural University are gearing for another wave of protests.