French court releases Davit Kezerashvili on bail

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Photo: AFP.com

On 3 February, the French court of appeal Aix en Provence released the former Defense Minister of Georgia Davit Kezerashvili on bail pending the final decision on his extradition to Georgia, which the court is to make on 27 February.

During the trial on the extradition case of Kezerashvili, held on 30 January, the French prosecutor said that the Georgian side must be denied the extradition of the former defense minister taking into account that Kezerashvili is a former high official and a person with close ties with the United National Movement. According to the prosecutor, that raised doubts about political motives behind the Georgian government's request to extradite Kezerashvili.

A Georgian prosecutor, Irakli Dondoladze, who also attended the trial, asserted that Kezerashvili must appear before the Georgian court to answer its questions.

For their part, French counsels of Kezerashvili insisted that the request of the Georgian side to extradite Kezerashvili was politically motivated.

The former Defense Minister of Georgia Davit Kezerashvili was detained in France on 14 October upon the request of the Georgian government. The Georgian prosecution accuses Kezerashvili of so-called illegal smuggling of alcohol. Kezerashvili is also charged with the involvement in the sale of Imedi TV company and a land plot in Tbilisi together with Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava who was suspended from office by the court in December 2013.

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