Saakashvili: "Ugulava did not intended to leave the country"

Georgia's former president met with the UNM party members in Kiev, Ukraine., 04 Jul 2014 - 08:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met with representatives of United National Movement in Kiev, Ukraine, last night where they discussed the charges against former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava.

The former president said Ugulava intended to attend a meeting in Kiev with political leaders, among them city Mayor Vitali Klitschko. 

"Also there is a local government congress in Kishinev and they did not allow Ugulava to come because of various reasons,” Saakashvili said.

He added Ugulava often travelled and met people but never wanted to stay abroad. 

"If someone thinks that arresting him will interrupt the political process and make a break in the elections ... or that [UNM] is based on one person, either Gigi or me, but this is a big mistake,” the former president stated. 

He said such actions reflected badly on the Georgian Government and the whole country. 

"No one in the civil world behaves that way. Of course, no one is above the law but replacing political processes with manipulative prosecution and a court is a very short-term [goal] and always ends with bad results,” Saakashvili added. 

He predicted these actions would result badly for the Government, and said he would not like those results to undermine the country.

"We do not need excesses and further complications in the new Georgia which is already in a complicated situation because of various reasons. Because of this, now we have to be peaceful and mobilised in order to show everybody that Georgia is not a country of manipulators,” Saakashvili stated.

Tbilisi’s ousted Mayor Gigi Ugulava was detained early in the morning on July 3 as he attempted to board a plane bound for Kiev, Ukraine. As he was arrested, Ugulava told journalists at the airport that he was on his way to Kiev with Giga Bokeria and he planned to return to Tbilisi later that afternoon, as he had been summoned for questioning by the Finance Ministry’s investigative service on July 4. 

Later, Ugulava was slapped with another charge relating to illegally accumulating money for his political party. The Investigating Service of Georgia's Finance Ministry issued an additional charge against Ugulava yesterday. The new charge could see Ugulava face a prison sentence of nine to 12 years.