The Georgian Government refuses to comply with the ruling of the Constitutional Court to release the former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi UgulavaSeptember 18th, 2015 Georgia | News
United National Movement, Georgia’s main opposition party, has published a statement on the Government’s refusal to comply with the ruling of the Constitutional Court to release the former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava.
Read the statement below.
UNM Statement on Government’s Refusal to Comply with Ruling of the Constitutional Court to Release Gigi Ugulava
Late on September 16, Georgia’s Constitutional Court ruled for the second time in favour of imprisoned former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava, saying his pretrial detention beyond the 9-month limit imposed by the Georgian constitution is unconstitutional.
Ugulava was arrested in July 2014, in the middle of the local election campaign he was leading for the United National Movement, Georgia’s main opposition party, and has been held in solitary confinement without a conviction for 14 months. The prosecutors have added new charges against Ugulava and argued that this allows his pretrial detention to be extended.
Reports from the OSCE and the US State Department have previously questioned the legality of this practice; now the Constitutional Court has officially declared this mechanism unconstitutional.
The United National Movement condemns the illegal incarceration of one of its leaders. His continued detention makes him a political prisoner.
Despite serious procedural violations in the cases brought against Ugulava, including judicial selectivity, the government has been unable to convict him on any charges. The OSCE described political motivation amounting to the “systematic denial of fair trial” in its December 2014 report on the trials against former Georgian officials (OSCE/ODIHR Trial Monitoring Report 2014).
In yesterday’s ruling, the Constitutional Court of Georgia established that no person can be kept in pretrial detention longer than 9 months and that the legal argument for Ugulava’s extended detention was flawed; it has been declared unconstitutional. The UNM believes this ruling is important for all Georgians as it clarifies their rights in judicial and investigative procedures.
According to Georgian legislation, Ugulava should have been immediately released. So far the authorities have chosen not to comply with the decision of the Court. If Georgian legislation provides no legal basis under which Ugulava can be kept in incarcerated, every minute more that he spends in prison is illegal imprisonment.
United National Movement
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