Tbilisi mayor’s powers suspended

Photo: Tbilisi mayor’s powers suspended
 / Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 22

By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava's powers were suspended. He was told about this decision by Judge Dali Metreveli on the phone.

Speaking at a briefing on Sunday the parliamentary minority leader, David Bakradze said that the decision was made behind closed doors, following the completion of judicial proceedings on determining a preventive measure against the mayor.

Ugulava was left free on bail of 50,000 Georgian laris ($29,152).

Bakradze considers this decision as illegal, because Ugulava was elected mayor by open voting.

"The court has made a decision on the mayor privately and behind closed doors, and we will use all means to appeal against this decision," Bakradze said.

Ugulava said at a meeting of the Tbilisi government that he has not yet received an official message from the court, and so, he does not know whether he was dismissed from the office or not, or his powers were just suspended.

The mayor intends to challenge the court's decision in a legal way. Ugulava stressed that the decision was made behind the backs of people, without discussions, and now he is not given an opportunity to once again fight for the mayor's post in the elections to be held in June, 2014. Tbilisi mayor believes that the decision was taken under pressure of the government, which has repeatedly threatened him with dismissal.

In case of Ugulava's dismissal, his duties will be performed by the Vice Mayor Sevdia Ugrekhelidze.

Yesterday, Georgian Prosecutor's Office demanded the mayor's imprisonment as a preliminary measure of restraint, as well as his dismissal from the office.

A preliminary consideration of his case is scheduled for February 5, 2014.

Prosecutor's Office accuses mayor Ugulava of embezzlement of $48 million from Tbilisi Development Fund.

He can face imprisonment of 7 up to 11 years.

Translated by E.A.

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