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Georgia's Jailed Former Prime Minister Sentenced Again

Former Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili (file photo)
Former Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili (file photo)

Georgia’s former prime minister, Vano Merabishvili, and former Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili, have been found guilty of abusing their powers during 2004 and sentenced to prison.

The Tbilisi City Court issued guilty verdicts and sentences on May 3.

Merabishvili received a 27-month sentence on charges linked to his time in office as Georgia's interior minister, while Adeishvili, tried in absentia, was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

The 49-year-old Merabishvili emerged as a key government figure after Georgia's 2003 Rose Revolution, serving as interior minister from 2004 to 2012 before becoming prime minister.

He is currently serving a multiyear sentence on previous convictions of abusing his office, bribing voters, and ordering the beating of a person.

The 44-year-old Adeishvili worked briefly in 2015 as an advisor to the Ukrainian government.

He now lives in Ukraine. Kyiv has refused to extradite Adeishvili to Georgia.

Supporters of Merabishvili and Adeishvili insist the charges against them are politically motivated and part of a "witch-hunt" by Georgia's current government.

In June 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the detention of Merabishvili was being used by Georgian officials for other motives in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Based on reporting by and Kavkazsky Uzel

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