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Georgian Mayor Suspended

TBILISI — The mayor of Georgia's capital Tbilisi has been suspended from office after he was charged with misspending public funds in a case he and his opposition colleagues said was a witch hunt against supporters of former president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Tbilisi City Court made the ruling against Gigi Ugulava, one of the leaders of Saakashvili's United National Movement, UNM, late  Saturday after earlier allowing him free on bail of 50,000 lari ($29,000) before his trial.

Before his suspension, Ugulava was the only high-ranking official from the former leadership still in power.

"It has been confirmed once again that legal proceedings against me are purely of political nature," Ugulava, who was elected as mayor in 2010, wrote on his Facebook page after he was informed about the court's decision by telephone.

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