TBILISI, DFWatch – A businessman has decided to appeal a court decision given today which upholds president Mikheil Saakashvili’s decision to rob him of his Georgian citizenship.

Bidzina Ivanishvili declared October 7 that he would use his significant wealth and influence to remove Saakashvili from power. Four days later the president revoked his citizenship, thereby blocking him from entering politics.

Ivanishvili took the decision to court, arguing that it was politically motivated. Today at 2 pm, Tbilisi City Court upheld the president’s decision, though restored the citizenship of Ivanishvili’s wife, Ekaterine Khvedelidze.

Lawyers for Mr Ivanishvili told DFWatch that they consider the ruling a partial victory, since the court took their side regarding Khvedelidze, but they are not satisfied and have already decided to appeal the case as a first step towards claiming full rehabilitation of the businessman’s citizenship status.

The case now goes to the appeal’s court, the mid level in Georgia’s three tier justice system. If it doesn’t rule in the businessman’s favor, the case could eventually end up in the European Court of Human Rights.

DFWatch will return later with more on this story.