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Two Allies Of Georgian President Charged With Corruption

Nika Gvaramia
Nika Gvaramia
Two top allies of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili have been officially charged with corruption.

Rustavi-2 television General Director Nika Gvaramia and Aleko Khetaguri, who served as finance and energy minister, were charged on December 21 with accepting bribes, falsifying documents, and engaging in illegal commercial activities.

Khetaguri has also been charged with money laundering.

Four other men have been arrested and similarly charged in connection with the case.

If convicted, Gvaramia and Khetaguri could face up to 15 years in prison.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said on December 21 that it would have been better if Gvaramia had not been detained, and he expressed the hope that he would be released on bail.

Saakashvili's United National Movement has said the arrest is an attempt to pressure the media in Georgia.

Based on reporting by GeorgiaOnline and AP