Former Georgian president sentenced to 3 years in jail

Mikheil Saakashvili found guilty of abusing his powers in murder case of banker in 2006

Ersin Çelik
14:45 - 5/01/2018 Cuma
Update: 15:43 - 5/01/2018 Cuma
Former Georgian President and ex-governor of the Odessa region of Ukraine Mikheil Saakashvili
Former Georgian President and ex-governor of the Odessa region of Ukraine Mikheil Saakashvili

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 was accused of abusing his powers when he was the president in 2004-2013 by trying to cover up the evidence pertaining to the murder of Georgian banker Sandro Girgvliani.

Girgvliani, 28, who headed the foreign departments of United Georgian Bank, was found dead on Jan. 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 had issued pardons for four people, who were convicted of the murder and they were released in 2009 after three years of imprisonment.

Saakashvili opposed the court ruling, saying it was "unlawful".

"The decision contradicts laws, international law and common sense," he said in a Facebook post.

To judge a president for exercising pardoning powers is a politicized move, he added.

"Besides, the parallel process in Kiev shows that the oligarchic power in Ukraine and Georgia acts in harmony and are totally coordinated against me," he added.

Saakashvili also claimed that for several years Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Georgian and Ukrainian authorities to take oppressive measures against him.

After serving as president of Georgia for 10 years, Saakashvili was appointed as the governor of Ukraine's southern Odessa region by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2015 but he resigned the following year.

He became an outspoken critic of the Ukrainian president and accused him of carrying out corruption.

Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship while in the U.S. earlier in 2017, rendering him stateless. However, in September he crossed into Ukraine from Poland with the help of his supporters.

His Georgian citizenship was revoked when he got Ukrainian nationality in 2015.

In 2014, former Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili was also sentenced to three years for abusing his powers.

#Mikheil Saakashvili
#Sandro Girgvliani
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