Georgia hands opposition leader 11-year jail term

A court in Georgia on Friday found the former defence minister and opposition politician Irakly Okruashvili guilty of extortion and jailed him for 11 years in absentia.

Georgia hands opposition leader 11-year jail term
Okruashvili fled to western Europe last year after being granted bail in Georgia. He is now in Paris where he is waiting for a court's decision on a Georgian extradition request.

"Okruashvili has been sentenced to 11 years," said Tbilisi city court spokeswoman Eka Chichua.

Police arrested Okruashvili in September days after he accused Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili of corruption. His arrest triggered mass demonstrations in Tbilisi and helped unite a fractured opposition movement.

Anti-government street demonstrations in November were crushed by riot police, but forced Saakashvili to order a state of emergency and a snap presidential election, which he won with a slender majority.

Last Mod: 28 Mart 2008, 14:07
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