The mediation by former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert between Georgian company Chindze and former Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo over money received by Milo in defense deals in Georgia has failed. Chindze today notified the Tel Aviv District Court of the failure.
"Globes" reported that Olmert would serve as mediator between Milo and Chindze, which asserts that Milo owes it millions of shekels on sensitive defense deals between defense industries in Israel and the Georgian government.
The dispute between Chindze and Milo has been heard by the Court before Judge Michal Amit-Anisman for the past 18 months. During the hearing of the case, the judge encouraged Milo and the Georgian company to halt the court case and try to reach agreements without presentation of evidence and a trial verdict. It is believed that one of the reasons for referring the parties to mediation was the sensitivity of the deals underlying the dispute. The judge wrote on May 1, 2018, "It is proposed that the parties conduct talks aimed at ending the dispute out of court in the spirit of what was said during the hearing."
The Georgian company, represented by Adv. Ilan Sofer, and Milo, represented by Adv. Ram Caspi, got the Court's message and agreed to mediation and chose Olmert, the most senior figure available, to undertake the difficult task. Following the unsuccessful mediation, the dispute will return to the courtroom.
Chindze said, "We hoped that former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would conduct the mediation properly and without bias, despite his long-standing close friendship with Milo and Milo's lawyer, Ram Caspi, and the political ties between them. Unfortunately, we were wrong. The arbitration failed, and we will have to go back and ask the court to order Milo to reimburse the group for all of the money that he owes us. Roni Milo's involvement in these deals in Georgia began during Olmert's term in office. We are stunned: we thought that Israel was law-abiding country in which things are conducted properly, certainly when deals with leading figures and former ministers are involved. We discovered an entire method for evading payments of millions of shekels due to us.
"Olmert presided over mediation proceeding between the parties in recent months. Unfortunately, Olmert's involvement was of no avail, and the mediation proceeding failed. Since the respondent (Milo's company) has so far completely ignored the Court's order to deliver the documents concerning the claim to a third party, the Court is asked to order the respondent to present its position on the Court's proposal."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 16, 2018
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