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Ugulava remains in prison

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, July 9
Former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava will remain in custody. Georgia’s Court of Appeals rejected the motion of Ugulava’s lawyers regarding the suspension of the pre-trial detention for the former official on July 8. The court viewed the motion as unacceptable. Ugulava and his lawyers claim that the court violated his human rights.

Ugulava was arrested at Tbilisi airport on the 3rd of July when he was trying to leave for Kiev. Tbilisi City Court sent Ugulava into custody on the 4th of July. Ugulava is charged with money laundering and the Marneuli election case. He denies these crimes, stressing that he is being politically persecuted by the Georgian Dream government.

“The Court of Appeals left me in prison without any consideration. However, the detention will not disturb the political process in Georgia… Thanks to Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili for my being in prison,” Ugulava said.

Ugulava’s Lawyer Gizo Ugulava states that Judge Giorgi Mirotadze verbally discussed the appeal of the ex-mayor’s lawyers and did not give them a chance to voice their arguments during the trial. The lawyers state that there are no more levers in Georgia to appeal the verdict.

“This fact was one more violation of Ugulava’s rights,” the lawyer states.

The United National Movement (UNM) leader Davit Bakradze stressed that the decision of the court will affect the country’s image and raise serious alarms among Georgia’s partners.

Responding to concerns over the country’s image and taking steps backwards, Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani stated that the crimes committed by certain individuals in the past will not have any influence on the country’s strive to Euro-Atlantic space.

International organizations, foreign politicians and ambassadors have stated that they are carefully watching the developments concerning the former mayor.