Georgia court frees opposition leader from 'illegal' detention

Gigi Ugulava, pictured on February 23, 2013, was released after his 14-month pre-trial detention was declared unconstitutionalA court in ex-Soviet Georgia on Thursday ordered a top opposition leader detained on graft charges to be released from jail after his 14-month pre-trial detention was declared unconstitutional. Applause broke out as former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava — an ally of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili — walked out of court a free man following the judge’s announcement, cheered by hundreds of supporters. The judge ordered his release a day after Georgia’s Constitutional Court ruled that his time behind bars breached the legal nine-month limit for pre-trial detention and said the authorities were breaking the law by keeping him locked up.

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