ECHR’s Ruling into Merabishvili’s Pretrial Detention Case

Pretrial detention of Georgia’s ex-interior minister Vano Merabishvili was “used not only for the purpose of bringing” him before the relevant legal authorities on “reasonable suspicion” of various offenses with which he had been charged, “but was also treated by the prosecuting authorities as an additional opportunity to obtain leverage” over investigations into unrelated cases, including the one against ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said in its ruling delivered on June 14.

As a result the Strasbourg-based court found that there has been a violation of Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights taken in conjunction with Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security).
While the ECHR found no violation in Merabishvili’s initial pretrial detention in May 2013, the Court ruled that remanding him in custody four months later lacked reasonable grounds, thus constituting violation of Article 5 §3 of the Convention (entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial), informs.