Saakashvili jailed in absentia

Calvin Saunders
January 8, 2018

The Tbilisi city court has found former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili guilty of abuse of power in connection with a 2006 murder case and sentenced him in absentia to three years in prison.

Saakashvili had issued pardons for four people, who were convicted of the murder and they were released in 2009 after three years of imprisonment.

Now, Mr. Saakashvili wrote, Mr. Ivanishvili and President Poroshenko are coordinating the legal actions against him in Ukraine and Georgia.

"The "verdict" of the Georgian completely illegal and contradicts all worldwide and national norms", Saakashvili wrote on Facebook.

UNM's Zaza Bibilashvili, who convened a special press briefing today, said the judge who preceded over the case was "a criminal", and accused him of following the instructions of ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the incumbent officials of the Georgian Dream government.

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Girgvliani, 28, who headed the foreign departments of United Georgian Bank, was found dead on January 28, 2006 on the outskirts of the capital Tbilisi, after he was seen arguing in a bar with the high-ranking officials of the interior ministry.

Saakashvili, who was president 2004-13, left Georgia when his presidency ended and eventually went to Ukraine, where he had been appointed governor of the Odessa region.

Ukrainian authorities also claim that protests led by Saakashvili in Ukraine are part of a Russian plot against the government in Kyiv. He resigned from that post in 2016 and harshly criticized Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for not halting the official corruption that has crippled the country.

Mr. Saakashvili stepped down in Georgia after serving the constitutional limit of two terms, an exception in the former Soviet states where authoritarian leaders have bent the rules to stay on for decades. "That is what the law says on foreigners and individuals without citizenship, as well as the global convention that Ukraine has ratified".

But the government that succeeded him quickly set about prosecuting him.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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