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The Tbilisi City Court sentenced Georgia's former defense minister Irakly Okruashvili,
The Tbilisi City Court sentenced Georgia's former defense minister Irakly Okruashvili, currently in France awaiting extradition, to 11 years in prison on Friday for taking bribes.

Okruashvili has requested political asylum in France and a decision has yet to be made by French authorities.

His lawyer, Eka Beseliya, described the court's ruling as "political" and said it would be challenged within a month.

Last September, Okruashvili accused his former ally President Mikheil Saakashvili on TV of lobbying to line his family's pockets with commercial deals, plotting to seize Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia and ordering the killing of businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Georgian prosecutors charged Okruashvili with abuse of office, money laundering and corruption.

Okruashvili was extradited to France from Germany last year where he was arrested in November at the request of Georgian authorities.

A Paris court released the former minister on bail January 30.

Okruashvili said in early March that he would head the candidate list of his Movement for United Georgia, an opposition party, at Georgia's parliamentary polls in May.


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