TBILISI, DFWatch — Former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili was Friday set free on bail, as prosecutors have dropped two of the four charges against him.
The charge regarding setting up illegal armed units was today withdrawn, while a USD 9 000 bail was set in the case about abuse of powers.
Another charge was scrapped yesterday about appropriation of shares in Geocell, a mobile network company.
Irakli Okruashvili was Defense Minister in Saakashvili’s early government but turned against him and has been living in exile in France until two months ago.
In 2007, he was detained for abuse of powers and extortion. He was criticized by the government for his role during the anti-Saakashvili protests at the time. March 28, 2008, a court sentenced him in absentia to eleven years in jail. Until now, he has lived in France, which has given him political asylum.
In fall 2010, the controversial politician was among the founders of the Georgian Party. Six months later, in May 2011, he promised to return to Georgia at the peak of a series of anti-Saakashvili protests, but canceled in the last minute.
When there was a change of government as result of the parliamentary elections in October, 2012, Okruashvili decided to return home and fight for his rights. He was detained at the airport and has been held in detention until now.
Judge Zviad Esebua at Tbilisi City Court today decided to release him on the grounds that he came to Georgia of his own free will and can be trusted not to hide from the investigation.