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TBILISI, November 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Tbilisi’s city court has sanctioned a two-months pre-trial detention of Georgia’s former deputy interior minister Shota Khizanishvili, who is now deputy mayor of Tbilisi, Khizanishvili’s lawyer told journalists on Sunday.
According to the lawyer, Mamuka Chabashvili, he was going to challenge this decision with the court of appeals.
The two-months term started on November 15, when Khizanishvili was detained of charges of office abuse and of “using state-of-the-art technologies to illegally collect and spread information.”
According to prosecutors, in September 2012, Khizanishvili, then a deputy interior minister, obtained information about the private life of Besik Surmava, the then bodyguard of Bidzina Ivanishvili and made it available to top-ranking interior ministry officials. “After that, Khizanishvili was ordered to use these materials to force Surmava to discredit the coalition leaders,” prosecutors say.
Members of the former ruling party United National Movement told journalists after the court session that Khizanishvili’s arrest was “a mere settling of political accounts” and demanded to set him free.
Meanwhile, officials from Georgia’s new government say that neither Khizanishvili’s arrest nor other recent arrests were “politically motivated.” “There will no longer be discriminatory justice in the country, crimes will be punished, investigations and trials will be transparent, open and clear for all,” they say.