Georgian Ex-Minister Sentenced to Two Months Pre-Trial Detention

A former Georgian minister and ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili was sentenced to two months in pre-trial detention after being charged with abuse of office and false imprisonment.

The Tbilisi City Court in the Black Sea nation’s capital refused today to grant bail to Bacho Akhalaia, a former interior and defense minister, according to his lawyer David Dekanoidze. It freed on bail former chief of staff Giorgi Kalandadze, who’s also charged with abuse of office.

U.S.-backed Saakashvili’s party was unexpectedly defeated by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s opposition coalition in Oct. 1 elections. Akhalaia’s detention is “political revenge,” former ruling party member Nugzar Tsiklauri told reporters outside the court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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