Strasbourg court stands up for Merabishvili
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said that 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.
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 (the right to liberty and security).
The ECHR awarded Merabishvili with 8000 euro for legal expenses.
Shortly after the judgment was delivered, opposition UNM party leaders welcomed the ruling as confirmation of what they have long been insisting, that Merabishvili is a “political prisoner” and called on the authorities to release him, Civil.ge reports.