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31 Jan, 2008 09:26

Georgian government formed without opposition

Georgia's parliament has approved the country's new Cabinet formed after the early presidential election on January 5.

The new government is headed by Vladimir Gurgenidze and is made up of 17 ministers, some of whom have retained their offices from the previous cabinet.

Opposition parties did not take part in what they called the 'legitimisation of an illegitimate government'. Georgia's opposition insists the presidential election was rigged.

Rebel ex-minister freed from French jail

Meanwhile, one of opposition leaders and Georgia's ex-Defence Minister Irakly Okruashvili, wanted in his home country in connection with a number of crimes, is in Paris where he's recently been released from prison pending an extradition trial.

“The French court has only stipulated a few conditions for the release of Mr Okruashvili from prison. He is not allowed to leave Paris though he is free to move within the city. He should appear before the court on its first demand. The issue of paying bail was not even raised. It’s evident that Mr Okruashvili will comply with these conditions. Now we are looking forward for the court meeting scheduled for February 27, where the decision on Mr Okruashvili’s extradition will be made. I am convinced the French court will do its best again and make a fair decision,” Okruashvili’s lawyer said.

Okruashvili was arrested after a television interview in which he accused the country's top officials including President Saakashvili of corruption and murder plots.

He then left for Germany for medical treatment after being released on $US 6.5 million bail.

After that he was consequently extradited to France early this January.

Okruashvili is facing charges of office abuse, money laundering and extortion in Georgia.