A court in Georgia has rejected a request to impose a $600,000 bail on Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava and order him leave his post.
Ugulava was charged with misspending state funds and money laundering on February 23.
The Tbilisi City Court on February 25 dismissed a request by the prosecutor-general to ban Ugulava from leaving the country while the investigation is under way.
Speaking to journalists, Ugulava welcomed the ruling, adding that he is ready "to prove his innocence in court."
Ugulava is President Mikheil Saakashvili's close associate.
Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili have been locked in a growing confrontation since Saakashvili’s United National Movement party lost legislative elections to Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition in October.
Based on reporting by Rustavi and Novosti-Gruzia