Former Georgian Prime Minister Ivane Merabishvili has attended the first pretrial hearing in the abuse-of-power case against him.
His lawyer, Giorgi Chiviashvili, was quoted as saying that Merabishvili had decided to attend the court session in Kutaisi on September 12 despite his "unsatisfactory" health.
Merabishvili, who is secretary-general of President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement party, was arrested in May and charged with abuse of power, embezzlement, bribing voters, and covering up a murder.
Merabishvili insists the charges are politically motivated.
Several associates of Saakashvili have been arrested and charged with wrongdoing since Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition won parliamentary elections in October.
With reporting by interpressnews.ge