Giorgi Sabanadze. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–A court in Italy has released the former chairman of Tbilisi Development Fund, which means he won’t be extradited to Georgia.

Lawyers of Giorgi Sabanadze informed journalists that the reason he won’t be extradited is that he has received political asylum in an EU country. One of the lawyers later said Hungary has given Sabanadze asylum.

Sabanadze has chaired Tbilisi Development Fund, a body of Tbilisi City Hall maintaining public parks and buildings in the capital. He left the country after the National Movement was defeated in the parliamentary election in October 2012.

In the end of September, the Georgian Interior Ministry informed that police had detained Sabanadze September 22 in Florence, Italy. Interpol issued a red alert for him on August 19. He is charged with appropriation and embezzlement of a large amount of money.

Sabanadze was chairman of Tbilisi Development Fund from July 2010 to October 16, 2012. According to investigators, he formed an organizing group with Alexandre Tabuashvili, chairman of Tbilisi City Hall’s purchasing service, and Vice Mayor Davit Alavize, in the fall of 2011 with several other officials and public employees, the goal of which was to illegally finance the UNM party’s election campaign with money which belonged to Tbilisi Development Fund.

According to the Interior Ministry, the group appropriated 34 328 463 lari (nearly USD 20.5 million) in total.