Tbilisi Court of Appeals finds Georgian ex-President Saakashvili guilty

Saakashvili was officially charged in Georgia in 2014, however, by the time his case went through court he was already in Ukraine. Photo: UNIAN.
Agenda.ge, 18 Jul 2018 - 12:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tbilisi Court of Appeals did not change the previous verdict delivered by Tbilisi City Court in January this year and found the third president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili guilty for abuse of power over the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. 

Saakashvili was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia and was deprived of the right to take any state post for one year and five months. 

Saakashvili’s lawyers say that the verdict is unfair and the former president was sentenced for using his constitutional right to pardon inmates. 

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.

In Georgia, the president is the only authorised person to pardon inmates but he must do so only with the consultation of the Pardon Commission.

The today’s verdict can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Georgia, which is the highest court in Georgia. 

Three other cases are filed in Georgia with Saakashvili as a defendant:

  • Violent dispersal of anti-government mass protests on November 7, 2007; unlawful raiding of Imedi television company by riot police; and the illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili – all filed as one criminal case. 
  • Exceeding official powers using violence or a weapon and organizing intentional infliction of grave injury by more than one person in the case of the attack on Valeri Gelashvili. 
  • Appropriation or embezzlement of budget money in large quantities (more than 8.8 million GEL) with a prior agreement by a group in the case of Special State Protection Service expenses. 

Saakashvili served as Georgia’s third president from 2004-2007 and again from 2008-2013.