Tbilisi City Court has accepted the release of the head of the United National Movement Nika Melia after the European Union posted Melia’s 40,000 GEL bail on May 8, following the EU-mediated agreement between Georgian political parties in April.
After the completion of technical issues Melia will leave Rustavi prison where he has been in pretrial custody since February 23, 2021.
He was released on 30,000 GEL bail on June 27, 2020.
????????By releasing #Melia, 1 more key milestone of the April 19 deal was reached. It is now crucial to focus on other points that require cooperation between the sides & contribute to more fair & transparent parliament in #Georgia. Remaining opposition is invited to join the deal.— Viola von Cramon (@ViolavonCramon) May 10, 2021
However, Melia violated the conditions of his bail by publicly removing his surveillance bracelet and 40,000 GEL was added to his bail in November 2020.
Melia said that the 40,000 GEL bail was unfair and refused to post it within 50 days of sentencing.
On February 5, 2021 the Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office warned him of the possibility of his bail conditions being reversed to detention.
He was arrested on February 23.
The arrest further complicated the tension between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition which began after the October 2020 parliamentary elections.
The political tension was finally resolved by the involvement of the European Council President Charles Michel.
European Endowment for Democracy, on behalf of the EU, posted Melia’s bail, while the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association handed the money to the Georgian government.
Posting bail before a court's decision is unusual for the Georgian judiciary.