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Leaving Former Mayor in custody is a violation of the constitution, UNM stressed

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, April 27
Leaving former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava in custody is a violation of the constitution, stated the member of the United National Movement (UNM) Goka Gabashvili.

According to Gabashvili, the 9-month pre-trial detention period has already already expired.

The Parliament minority plans to address the Constitutional Court and demand an explanation as to why Ugulava remains in custody.

“We think that Ugulava is a personal prisoner of former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. They even pressured the court to get their desired result,” stated Gabashvili.

The first Vice Speaker of Parliament, Manana Kobakhidze, explained that Constitution prohibits the 9 month pretrial detention for a person who is under investigation for a single crime only.

“However, in the Ugulava case it is different, as he remains in custody for other charges,” stated Kobakhidze.

The Head of the Human Rights Committee, Eka Beselia, also responded to Gabashvili’s statement and said that parliament cannot interfere the with the court’s decision.

Ugulava was arrested at Tbilisi airport on the 3rd of July 2014, 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 both charges, stressing that he is being politically persecuted by the Georgian Dream government.

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 has violated his human rights.