Georgian Court Sentences Saakashvili In Absentia

Georgian Court Sentences Saakashvili In Absentia

A Tbilisi court on Friday sentenced former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in absentia to three years in prison for abusing his powers in a murder case of a banker in 2006.

Saakashvili, who was president from 2004 to 2013, was found guilty of illegally pardoning four men who were convicted of the high profile murder of Georgian banker Sandro Girgvliani in 2006.

The Ukrainian leader past year stripped Saakashvili of his citizenship while he was overseas.

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

The judge said that the ex-president abused his official powers when he pardoned former law enforcers arrested for the Girgvliani case without the participation of the Pardon Commission. "This is a revenge against me", he said at a press conference in Kiev. "It was impossible to deliver a guilty verdict in the case in accordance with the law", Goglichidze said.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, few weeks after Girgvliani's murder in 2006, Mikheil Saakashvili promised Data Akhalaia, then head of the the Interior Ministry's Department of Constitutional Security, to pardon those officials from the same Department, who would be willing to claim responsibility for the murder, and would not reveal the identities of those who ordered and committed the murder.

Georgian Court Sentences Saakashvili In Absentia
Georgian Court Sentences Mikheil Saakashvili in Absentia to 3 Years in Prison

Saakashvili, who is now in Ukraine, was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison.

Politics in Georgia are now dominated by a coalition headed by the Georgian Dream party, which arose in opposition to Saakashvili.

In his statement, Mr. Saakashvili called the ruling ridiculous and orchestrated by a political enemy, Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire and a former prime minister who has had business interests in Russian Federation.

His Georgian citizenship was revoked when he got Ukrainian nationality in 2015. He was officially charged in Georgia in 2014, however, by the time his case went through court he was already in Ukraine.

He did not provide evidence to back up the assertion.

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