Former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava released from prison

Former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava released from prison today, 06 Jan 2017 - 19:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava was released from prison today around 6:30 PM after Tbilisi Court of Appeals reduced his sentence, effectively ending his prison term.

On the basis of Tbilisi Court of Appeals, Ugulava’s prison term was reduced to one year and nine months.

However, retroactively owing to the Georgian Amnesty Act of 2012, this sentence was further commuted to one year, three months and 22 days, which he has already served since his original sentence date of September 18, 2015.

The Court today partially granted an appeal of Ugulava’s lawyers to requalify the criminal article by which Ugulava had been formerly convicted to abuse of power.

While mayor in 2010 - 2011, Ugulava allegedly embezzled more than four million lari in public funds. The money he embezzled was used to create 800 fictitious job positions within municipal service "Tbilservice Group”, through which funds were then funneled to pay the salaries of UNM party activists.

Formal charges were brought against him in 2013 and he was sentenced to several - month pretrial detention in 2014 by Tbilisi City Court. In 2015, he was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison. This prison term was commuted to four years and six months.

Previously, several similar accusations of embezzlement, corruption and illegal seizure of property had been brought against Ugulava, of which he was unilaterally acquitted.