Georgia’s Ex-Premier May Appeal Detention to Europe Rights Court

Vano Merabishvili, a former Georgian premier and an ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili who was detained this month, may appeal his pre-trial detention to the European Court of Human Rights, his lawyer said.

Merabishvili, who has been charged with abuse of office and embezzlement, has several months to challenge a May 22 ruling by a city court in Kutaisi, the lawyer, Giorgi Chiviashvili, told reporters today in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

Merabishvili was denied bail and sentenced to two months in pre-trial detention by the Kutaisi court. He denies any wrongdoing and denounces his prosecution as politically motivated, his lawyer said.

Merabishvili, who’s also served as interior minister and led a revamp of the police, was arrested on May 21 along with former Health Minister Zurab Tchiaberashvili. Tchiaberashvili was released on bail.

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