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New Charge Presented To Arrested Former Georgian Prime Minister


Former Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili (right) attends a preliminary hearing in his case in Kutaisi on May 22.

Former Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili (right) attends a preliminary hearing in his case in Kutaisi on May 22.

TBILISI -- Georgia's arrested former prime minister has been officially charged with covering up a murder.

The spokesman for the Prosecutor-General's Office told journalists on June 24 that Ivane Merabishvili, who is secretary-general of President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement party, is suspected of hindering investigations into the 2006 killing of a prominent banker Sandro Girgvliani.

Merabishvili was arrested last month and charged with abuse of power, embezzlement, and bribing of voters.

Merabishvili insists the charges are politically motivated.

Several associates of President Saakashvili have been arrested and charged with wrongdoings since Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition won parliamentary elections in October.

Based on reporting by Apsny.ge and Interfax
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