A court in Tbilisi, Georgia's capital, has suprisingly rejailed main opposition party leader Gigi Ugulava for four and a half years over accusations of corruption regarding the funding of his party's campaign in June, after he was released from an illegal 14-month period of detention on Thursday.
Gigi Ugulava, the former Mayor of Tbilisi and one of the leaders of Georgia’s main opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), criticised the court decision as being part of a government campaign to discredit political opponents.
Ugulava's lawyer Beka Basilaia said, “We will appeal the illegal and politically motivated verdict to a higher court. There is no proof whatsoever of my client's guilt."
Ugulava is one of the former top officials prosecuted after his United National Movement party lost parliamentary elections to the current Georgian Dream coalition government in 2012.
In the course of his period in office as the mayor of Tbilisi, Ugulava implemented major infrastructure projects and social reforms that improved living standards in the Georgian capital.