Case No. 72508/13
Judgment date: 14 June 2016

On 21 May 2013, the applicant, Mr Ivane Merabishvili (former Georgian Prime Minister and the Secretary General of the opposition United National Movement Party), was arrested on suspicion of involvement in vote-buying, misappropriation of another person’s property, breach of authority and breach of inviolability of another person’s home. The applicant’s request to review the reasonableness of his pre-trial detention was rejected on 25 September 2013. He was kept under pre-trial detention until 17 February 2014, when he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Mr Merabishvili challenged the lawfulness and reasonableness of his pre-trial detention under Arts. 5(1) and 5(3) ECHR. He also complained under Art. 5(4) ECHR that the domestic court had failed to conduct a proper judicial review of his request for release from detention by withholding reasons for its decision of 25 September 2013.

The applicant further claimed that the initiation of the criminal proceedings against him and his pre-trial detention served the purpose of excluding him from the political life of the country in violation of Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 5(1) ECHR. The applicant was represented by EHRAC and Mr Otar Kakhidze, a lawyer based in Tbilisi.

Read the full case summary in the Winter 2016 Bulletin.