As Saakashvili lands back in Poland, jail time awaits him back in Georgia

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February 12, 2018 – Fort Russ News –

– Le Figaro, translated from French by Tom Winter –

In exile in Ukraine, the former president Mikhail Saakashvili has been condemned to three years in prison for abuse of power.

The former Georgian president was accused of smothering a murder case against a young banker in Tbilisi in 2006.

A Georgian court on Thursday sentenced Mikhail Saakashvili to three years in prison. The former Georgian president was found guilty of abuse of power in the case of the murder of a young banker in Tbilisi in 2006. The body of Sandro Girgvliani was found in the vicinity of the Georgian capital the day after his dispute with four senior officials. Saakashvili, then president, is accused of trying to quash the case.

The file was reopened after the end of his term. The sentence could precipitate Saakashvili’s request for extradition from the Georgian authorities to Ukraine, where Saakashvili has been living since 2015. Saakashvili accused the Russian intelligence service of mounting the case against him. The European Court of Human Rights had criticized Georgia for lack of impartiality, objectivity and independence in the investigation.
Accused of conspiracy in Ukraine
On January 3, the former Georgian president appeared before another court, this time in Ukraine, where he is accused of having, with the complicity of the Russian authorities, plotted against the Kiev government. The investigation is based on alleged telephone conversations between Saakashvili and a Ukrainian businessman, Serhiy Kurchenko, who fled to Russia after being accused of embezzlement. The oligarch, who is close to former President Viktor Yanukovych, has reportedly offered half a million dollars to the former Georgian president to stage anti-government demonstrations. Saakashvili denied the charges, and said the evidence was fabricated by the Ukrainian security services, with the help of their Russian counterparts.

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Saakashvili lived in Kiev since returning to Ukraine in September 2017. The former Georgian president (2004-2013) was appointed in governor of Odessa by Ukrainian President Petro PoroshenkoThe former Georgian president was accused of smothering a murder case against a young banker in Tbilisi in 2006.

A Georgian court on Thursday sentenced Mikhail Saakashvili to three years in prison. The former Georgian president was found guilty of abuse of power in the case of the murder of a young banker in Tbilisi in 2006. The body of Sandro Girgvliani was found in the vicinity of the Georgian capital the day after his dispute with four senior officials. Saakashvili, then president, is accused of trying to quash the case.

The file was reopened after the end of his term. The sentence could precipitate Saakashvili’s request for extradition from the Georgian authorities to Ukraine, where Saakashvili has been living since 2015. Saakashvili accused the Russian intelligence service of mounting the case against him. The European Court of Human Rights had criticized Georgia for lack of impartiality, objectivity and independence in the investigation.

Accused of conspiracy in Ukraine
On January 3, the former Georgian president appeared before another court, this time in Ukraine, where he is accused of having, with the complicity of the Russian authorities, plotted against the Kiev government. The investigation is based on alleged telephone conversations between Saakashvili and a Ukrainian businessman, Serhiy Kurchenko, who fled to Russia after being accused of embezzlement. The oligarch, who is close to former President Viktor Yanukovych, has reportedly offered half a million dollars to the former Georgian president to stage anti-government demonstrations. Saakashvili denied the charges, and said the evidence was fabricated by the Ukrainian security services, with the help of their Russian counterparts.

Saakashvili lived in Kiev since returning to Ukraine in September 2017. The former Georgian president (2004-2013) was appointed in governor of Odessa by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2015. He had then acquired Ukrainian nationality, and renounced his Georgian passport. He resigned in November 2016, accusing Poroshenko of doing nothing against the corruption that is plaguing the country. Poroshenko deposed Saakashvili of his Ukrainian nationality in July 2017 while he was abroad. Saakashvili returned illegally to Ukraine in September thanks to his supporters who had helped him break through a border post. 

Finally, today, Ukraine arrested him and put him on a plane to Poland. Le Figaro reports “The oppositionist Mikheil Saakashvili, accused of wanting to stage a coup in Ukraine and who had been stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship last summer, was arrested and deported to Poland, the Ukrainian authorities announced on Monday.

“This person was on Ukrainian territory illegally, which is why (…) he was sent back to the country from which he arrived in violation of Ukrainian law,” the border guards said in a statement.

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