PM Garibashvili: ex-president Saakashvili will leave Georgia only after serving sentence

  • Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili (R) says that ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili ‘committed crimes and he must serve his prison sentence.

Agenda.ge, 4 Oct 2021 - 12:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili says that ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who was detained in Tbilisi on October 1, will be able to leave the country only after he serves his prison sentence. 

Saakashvili, who currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council as a citizen of Ukraine, was convicted in Georgia in absentia back in 2018 for abuse of authority and has been charged with several other crimes. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced at a briefing yesterday that he will work to bring Saakashvili back to Ukraine using ‘various means’.

Saakashvili has been sentenced to six years in prison. We will accept no requests, from no one in the world, to release him. He will be able to leave the country only after he serves his prison term,” Garibashvili told Imedi TV late yesterday.

He stated that Saakashvili ‘has only now realised he is in prison, feels very bad and is begging for release.’ 

Garibashvili also told Imedi TV that receiving 47% of the vote in the proportional part of the October 2 municipal elections ‘is unprecedented in the history of Georgia.’ 

 We have won all elections since 2012. None of the governments, political parties have done this in Georgian history so far,” Garibashvili said. 

He stated that the need for mayoral runoffs ‘in only 20 of 64’ constituencies is because of the ‘betrayal of ex-PM Giorgi Gakharia.’ 

Many thought that Gakharia was Ivanaishvili’s (founder of the ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili) project. We lost about seven to eight percent of votes in the elections for this,” Garibashvili said. 

Gakharia resigned from premiership and left the ruling party back in February 2021 due to controversies with the GD leadership. 

He founded the For Georgia political party in May 2021 and was taking part in the municipal elections. 

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