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Trial Of Former Georgian President's Associates To Resume

Ex-Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava is charged with misspending state funds and money laundering.
TBILISI -- The trial of former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava and Georgia's former Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili is expected to resume in the capital.

Ugulava was charged in February with misspending state funds and money laundering. He denies the charges, saying they are politically motivated.

Kezerashvili was arrested in France in October on a weapons-trafficking charge. Investigators in Georgia say Kezerashvili is suspected of taking a $12 million bribe to facilitate alcohol smuggling in Georgia.

He is being tried in absentia. Tbilisi is currently working on his extradition.

Both Ugulava and Kezerashvili are close associates of Georgia's former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who stepped down in October after serving two terms.

A number of investigations were launched against his associates after former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition won parliamentary elections in October 2012.