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Gov’t Pays ˆ4,000 to the Arrested ex-Interior Minister

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 5
(STRASBOURG)--The government of Georgia paid ˆ4,000 to former minister of Internal Affairs Ivane Merabishvili for non-pecuniary damage, according to the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) from November 2017.

The report of the court released on Wednesday reads that the government of Georgia paid the money on February 22, 2017, as it had three months to enforce the court’s decision.

In its report last year the Court stated that the official's pre-trial detention was fair and the former official could gain only monetary benefit from the verdict.

Merabishvili, who served as Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Georgia under the previous state leadership, was arrested in May 2013, after the current ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition replaced the previous leading power, the United National Movement (UNM) party, in the 2012 parliamentary race.

Merabishvili was charged for faking documents, misspending budgetary funds and allegedly exceeding his power in connection with three different notorious cases.

In February 2014, a Georgian court found Merabishvili guilty on the charge of exceeding his official power and he was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

The applicant alleged that his pre-trial detention had not been governed by clear legal rules and had been unreasonable.

Merabishvili also claimed his pre-trial detention served the purpose of excluding him from the political life of the country, as he was appointed by Secretary General of the UNM after the 2012 parliamentary elections and intended to participate in the 2013 Presidential elections.

“The Court concludes that there has been no violation in regards to this,” the Court stated regarding his claims.

However, the Court said one of the decisions of the Georgian Court that concerned the replacement of pre-trial detention with bail could be considered as a violation of the law, as a judge verbally announced in a short period of time.

The Court also held that Georgia was to pay Merabishvili 4,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 8,000 for costs and expenses.