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ECHR: Georgian Ex-Prime Minister’s Detention Partially Illegal

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the 2013 detention of Georgia's former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili was partially illegal.

The Strasbourg-based court ordered on June 14 the Georgian government to pay Merabishvili 12,000 euros ($13,500) for the violation of his rights.

While the ECHR found no violation in Merabishvili’s initial pretrial detention in May 2013, it ruled that remanding him in custody four months later lacked reasonable grounds.

It also said Merabishvili’s detention had been “used by the prosecuting authorities as an opportunity to obtain leverage in another unrelated investigation.”

Merabishvili, an ally of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, was sentenced to prison terms in several separate trials in 2014.

Arrests of former top Saakashvili officials have prompted warnings from the West over selective justice and using the justice system to persecute political opponents.

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