Trial continues for ex-Georgian officials

Ex-Mayor Gigi Ugulava has accused the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of delaying an investigation into his case., 09 Jan 2014 - 18:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ex-Mayor of Tbilisi has slammed the Government in a media speech ahead of his court appearance today. Ex-Mayor Gigi Ugulava has accused the Chief Prosecutors Office of delaying an investigation into his case, before his trial began on December 9.  

The former Mayor and former Minister of Defense face charges in the Tbilisi City Court of alienating TV Imedi in 2008 and Rike, exclusive territory on the Mtkvari river bank in Old Tbilisi.  

Before the court appearance, Ugulava addressed the media.

"I see no problems with the accomplishment of this case. I think that more witnesses will be interrogated at the court. There should be three or four major witnesses. However, unfortunately the Chief Prosecutors Office is more interested with the trial process than with the result and accomplishment of the case.

Ugulavahas also been charged with misspending money from the Tbilisis Developing Fund, established in 2010 for the capitals rehabilitation. This misspent money is claimed to be more than 70 million GELmore than $40 million USD). Five other high officials of Tbilisi City Hall also face the same charge.

In court today, three Crown witnesses were questioned.

Earlier, the Chief Prosecutors Office appealed to the court to separate the trial of Ugulava and Kezerashvili, however the court did not approve this request.

Meanwhile, Georgias former Minister of Defense, Davit Kezerashvili,has been named on the Interpol wanted list before he was arrested on October 10, 2013 in France. However he has not been extradited to Georgia, yet. Kezerashvili is accused of bribe-taking, violating Georgian transport rules, in relation to large amount of movable items, and illegal money laundering. According to the investigation, in the form of tax evasion, the state has lost 49 million USD, while Kezerashvili is believed to have received an income of 12 million USD.

On January 23, a French court is expected to discuss the extradition of Kezerashvili.