New charges: Saakashvili charged with embezzling 8.8 million GEL

Saakashvili and Doctor Dot in scandalous picture during Tbilisi visit., 13 Aug 2014 - 16:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

The embezzlement of 8, 837,000 GEL of state funds is the new charge against Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, presented today by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

At a special briefing, a representative of the investigation also named former head of the Special State Protection Service Temur Janashia as the second defendant in this case.

The Prosecutor’s Office alleged the state funds were used by Saakashvili as a secret source of income for private spending over a five year period.

The Office said the ex-president covered up his spending in an illegal way through this department in April 2009 after the scandalous visit to Tbilisi of massage Doctor Dot. She uploaded a video of her Georgian visit online however her visit to the country was not registered officially by the Georgian Border Control.

After this case, Saakashvili ordered Janashia to create a spending scheme, where invoices for the costs relating to Saakashvili, his friends and family, were illegally named "top secret”.

At the same time more than 20 million GEL was spent officially by the President’s Administration on the ex-president’s entertainment allowance from 2009 to 2013.

The investigation will additionally learn the legacy of these costs, the Prosecutor’s Office said today.

Meanwhile today Prosecutor’s Office revealed some of the livings cost of Saakashvili - the third Georgian President from his "secret” fund. The investigation against Saakashvili and his co-offender on this case is ongoing under Article 182, Part 3 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which has a prison sentence from seven to 11 years.

From 2009 to 2013 Saakashvili spent "top secret” money for:

  • Hotel service – 2 million GEL
  • Travel tickets – 916,000 GEL
  • Food in Georgia and abroad – 1,403,000 GEL
  • Transport – 2,280,000 GEL
  • Cosmetic procedures – 613,000 GEL
  • Real estate rental – 273,000 GEL
  • Clothing – 115,000 GEL
  • Buying gifts and souvenirs – 237,000 GEL      Meredith Ostrow is the artist who paints with the naked parts of her body. Saakashvili bought her painting "Diamond Dust Bust series n.1" in 2010 for 15 989 GEL.
  • Other costs – 576,000 GEL.

The Prosecutor’s Office also revealed interesting details of the ex-president’s private spending, which clearly showed the extravagant lifestyle of Saakashvili and his entourage. 

The spending included:

  • The salary, real estate rental, translation costs and travel to homeland of Saakashvili’s Spanish chef– 191,000 GEL
  • Hotel and travel costs of Saakashvili’s private stylist – 75,000 GEL
  • Visit to Austrian Innsbruck Spa Resort with Tbilisi ex-Mayor Gigi Ugulava – 26,000 GEL
  • Rental of airplanes in different locations – 503,000 GEL
  • Rental of Porsche, Mercedes and Audi luxury cars during his visit to Austria – 58,000 GEL
  • Bicycle rental costs abroad – 35,000 GEL
  • Yacht rental in Italy – 25,000 GEL
  • Buying seven suits and a Cashmere coat in the UK – 49,000 GEL
  • Buying two handmade suits in the UK – 7,000 GEL
  • Two-days visit to a resort in Phuket, Thailand with friends, (including travel, car rental and hotel costs) – 127,858 GEL

Also on the list of "top secret” spending included several invoices for hotel costs of the ladies within Saakashvili’s entourage. This included:

  • Hotel costs in the United Arab Emirates and Batumi, Georgia, for Georgian MP Mariam Sajaia – 6,000 GEL
  • Hotel service for Alana Gagloeva, Saakashvili’s ex press speaker – 6,000 GEL
  • Hotel service and travel costs for sisters Natasha and Kristina Vusov – 15,000 GEL
  • Hotel and travel costs for the parents and the sister of ex-Minister of Economy Vera Kobalia – 38,000 GEL

Prosecutor's Office published today on the web-site the PDF copies of some of invoices. 

You can see some of Saakashvili's spending below:

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office officially filed criminal charges against ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili at the end of the July for violent dispersal of an anti-governmental mass protests on November 7, 2007, unlawful raiding of Imedi television company by riot police and illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili and organising a vicious attack on Valeri Gelashvili nine years ago.

Saakashvili was sentenced in absentia to pre-trial detention by Tbilisi City Court on August 2.