Documents reveal Saakashvili's spending public money on cosmetic procedures

The documents show how much money was spent from budgetary funds for ex-president's cosmetic procedures., 16 Aug 2014 - 17:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Documents released by the country’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office have revealed ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili allegedly spent hundreds of thousands on cosmetic procedures including botox and hair removal treatment, which was funded by the 8.8 million GEL state funds he allegedly embezzled while he was in office.

Special documents showed Saakashvili and other officials in his team spent 673,260 GEL ($386,931 USD) on cosmetic procedures over a five year period between September 2009 and February 2013. About two thirds of this money, 399,495 GEL ($229 594 USD) was spent solely by Saakashvili.

The Prosecutor’s Office said given the "high public interest” in this case, it considered it necessary to publish one part of documents that showed the extravagant lifestyle and spending of the former president after he allegedly embezzled more than 8.8 million GEL state funds.

The Office said the published documents showed Saakashvili addressed different clinics outside Georgia for botox – a treatment for wrinkles and facial creases – and hair removal procedures over a five year period.

"As for the information that the accused, Mikheil Saakashvili, has commented to media saying evidence obtained in the investigation are not reliable, we would like to explain that in this criminal case there are number of incontrovertible evidences and factual circumstances which confirm 8,837,461 GEL from the budget of the Special State Protection’s Service of Georgia was spent on Mikheil Saakashvili and his team members’ personal needs,” The Prosecutor’s Office stated.

Furthermore, the Office’s statement said all necessary accountings and settlement documents in the criminal case of the ex-president were included and because of this, the Prosecutor’s Office found "[Saakashvili’s] attempt of questioning the spending [was] only designed to mislead the public”.

The Prosecutor’s Office said the fact more than 8 million GEL had been embezzled had been confirmed in a report from the State Audit Service as well.

On August 14, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office said an official mandate to name Saakashvili on a national wanted list had been sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Office said the ex-president will be detained by police if he attempted to cross a Georgian border.

Shortly after the Prosecutor’s Office announced this, Saakashvili went on air with Rustavi 2 TV from New York City and said the wanted notice, which was only relevant in Georgia, meant the Georgian authority did not want him to return to his home country.

In the interview the ex-president reacted to the new charges brought against him – embezzlement of 8,837,000 GEL state funds as a secret source of income for private spending.

He believed any entertainment allowance which included travel, food and beverage costs as well as medical treatment costs were "confidential” in every country.

The ex-president was sentenced in absentia to pre-trial detention by Tbilisi City Court on August 2 after being charged in relation to numerous criminal cases, including exceeding official powers.

Saakashvili is currently in the United States and has refused to return to Georgia to face charges in relation with violent dispersal of an anti-governmental mass protest on November 7, 2007, and a raid and unlawful seizure of Imedi TV.

The political party of the ex-president United National Movement (UNM) believed by publishing the documents included in Saakashvili’s case, the Prosecutor’s Office "continues persecution of members of the party”. They believed the reliability of the Prosecutor’s Office was "equal to zero”.

Meanwhile the Prosecutor’s Office promised to make other documents, including further evidences, public in the future.

You can see some of Saakashvili's documents, revealed by the Prosecutor's Office below: