TBILISI, DFWatch–A Tbilisi court decided on Wednesday that former Mayor Gigi Ugulava must stay in detention.
Lawyers asked the court to release Ugulava on bail and promised to hand his ID card and passport over to prosecutors as a guarantee that he won’t run away or leave the country.
The former mayor was detained at Tbilisi airport July 3, 2014, as he was about to leave for Ukraine. In the beginning of April, the maximum detention term of nine months will expire.
The Prosecutor’s Office wanted him to remain in detention, arguing that there was a risk he will escape, since he was trying to get away when he was detained at the airport. Ugulava himself explained he was leaving to meet with the Ukrainian patriarch in Kiev for just one day.
Ugulava’s lawyer Otar Kakhidze claimed that the judge Nino Sandodze made her decision under political influence and warned that they will appeal the the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Ugulava faces a number of charges in cases related to money laundering, embezzlement and election fraud.