Georgia’s ex-President Saakashvili named aide to Ukraine leader

  • Saakashvili was sentenced in absentia to pre-trial detention by Tbilisi City Court on August 2, 2014., 15 Feb 2015 - 01:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s ex-President, who is wanted in his home country, has been appointed an aide to the Ukrainian President to help the war-torn country on its path to reform.

According to an official decree, Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko assigned Mikheil Saakashvili as his non-staff adviser and as chairman of the country’s Advisory International Council of Reforms.

The news was published on the Ukrainian President’s website on Friday.

In his new job, the 47-year-old former Georgian president would "help implement best practices” and "build global support” for Ukraine.

"Mikheil will become a representative of Ukraine abroad and, simultaneously, a representative of the international community in Ukraine," said president Poroshenko in a statement.

Saakashvili faces multiple charges in Georgia

Georgia's former president has lived in exile in the United States (US) for the past two years. He is wanted in Georgia after the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia laid several charges against him for abuse of official authority.

The Office even sent a request to Interpol - the world’s largest international police organisation with 190 member countries - to issue a red notice in Saakashvili’s name.

Saakashvili, who was in office from 2004 to 2013, faced charges of exceeding official power in connection with the breakup of anti-government protests in 2007 and ordering an assault on an opposition lawmaker two years earlier.

The former president has also been indicted for conspiring with other ex-senior officials in the cover-up of a high-profile murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani in 2006.

In addition, Saakashvili is facing charges of misspending 8.83 million Georgian Lari (currently $4.43 million USD) of public funds between 2009 and 2013.

Furthermore, Saakashvili, who held a strong anti-Russian stance, was in office during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

Poroshenko’s foreign appointments

Ukraine has openly appointed several foreigners to top governmental posts.

Lithuania-born Aivaras Abromavicius was appointed Economic Development and Trade Minister, while Natalia Jaresko of the United States was named Ukraine’s new Finance Minister.

Earlier, Alexander Kvitashvili, from Georgia, was appointed Health Minister of Ukraine.