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European Court Fines Georgia In Ex-Audit Chief's Case

Sulkhan Molashvili has said he was tortured while in custody.

The European Court for Human Rights has ordered the Georgian government to pay 20,000 euros ($25,000) to a former state audit agency chief who was imprisoned in a corruption case.

The court in Strasbourg announced a verdict in the case of former Chamber of Control chief Sulkhan Molashvili on October 30.

It acquitted him under four Articles of the European Convention and ordered Tbilisi to thoroughly investigate his ordeal.

Molashvili was arrested in April 2004, after the Rose Revolution swept Mikheil Saakashvili to power, on suspicion of misappropriating state funds.

Initially sentenced to nine years in prison, he was released in 2008 and left Georgia for Europe after then-acting President Nino Burjanadze pardoned him.

Molashvili has said he was tortured while in custody.

Opponents of Saakashvili, who left office last November, accused his government of using the courts as a political tool.