Tbilisi City Court turned down prosecution’s motion for a pretrial detention of Giorgi (Goga) Oniani, a former police official and now defense attorney representing detained ex-defense minister and former prison system chief Bacho Akhalaia.
The court ordered to release Oniani on GEL 20,000 (about USD 11,500) bail; he will be released upon posting the bail.
Oniani, whose arrest on February 24 was condemned by the UNM opposition party as part of the authorities’ politically motivated prosecutions, is charged with exceeding powers when serving as deputy chief of police in Tbilisi’s Gldani-Nadzaladevi district in late 2011 and fabricating evidence. Oniani denies charges as politically motivated and says that he’s considering running for a majoritarian seat in Tbilisi Sakrebulo in June local elections.
UNM opposition party said in a statement that Oniani’s arrest is related to “successful” defense of his high-profile client Bacho Akhalaia in number of court proceedings; Akhalaia was acquitted in two trials and found guilty in the third one; several trials into some other charges against Akhalaia, who remains in pretrial detention since November, 2012, are still pending.