Accessibility links

Breaking News

Georgian President's Top Ally Faces Charges

Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava
Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava
Georgian investigators have charged Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava with misspending state funds and money laundering, in the latest legal case against a close ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili have been locked in a growing confrontation since Saakshvili's United National Movement party lost legislative elections to Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition last October.

Ugulava was summoned to the Finance Ministry's investigations service to be formally charged.

He has rejected the charges as "absurd" and part of Ivanishvili's efforts to gain control of the Tbilisi municipality and city council which are still dominated by Saakashvili's party.

Several hundred supporters gathered outside the Finance Ministry on February 23 to express their support for Ugulava.

Ivanishvili and Saakashvili must share power until October, when Saakashvili's second and final term expires.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.