Saakashvili case will not influence Georgia’s global relations, says PM

Garibashvili emphasized the independent court would decide whether a person was guilty of an offence. Photo by PM's Press Office, 04 Aug 2014 - 16:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

Criminal charges imposed on Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili will not influence the country’s positive relationships with partner counties, Georgia’s Prime Minister believes.

PM Irakli Garibashvili said Georgia was a democratic country and its "relationship with any country would not outweigh the former president who was accused of very serious crimes”.

"[Our] goal is to put an end to impunity in the country. This is one of the main appeals of the United Nations Human Right Committee. Speculations that the former president is more important than the state is extremely unreasonable,” Garibashvili said after the 2014 Ambassadorial meeting in Tbilisi today.

He emphasized the independent court would decide whether a person was guilty of an offence and the Government must provide a transparent investigation into each case.

Saakashvili and two other ex-government officials were sentenced to pre-trial detention by Tbilisi City Court on August 2 in absentia.

Saakashvili has been charged with the unlawful seizure of Imedi TV and other assets owned at the time by tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, who died in February 2008, as well as exceeding official authorities that stemmed from the breakup of November 7, 2007 anti-government protests.

The former leader, who is currently based in the United States but often travelled to different countries, left Georgia in November 2013 when his second and final presidential term ended.

Speaking from Budapest earlier this week, Saakashvili dismissed the charges against him and said his case was a political witch-hunt.