PM Garibashvili: Saakashvili’s early release, transfer to Ukraine won’t happen

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili claims that former president Mikheil Saakashvili’s transfer to a civil clinic would cause destabilisation. Photo: government of Georgia press office., 29 Oct 2021 - 12:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili says that former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will neither be released early from prison, nor will he be transferred to Ukraine. 

This will never take place. If the government allows any of these scenarios to happen, it will be disrespectful to the rule of law,” Garibashvili says. 

Saakashvili, who is a citizen of Ukraine and currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Reform Council, was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1, a day before the Georgian municipal elections. 

The former president says that he returned to Georgia after eight years in political exile to help his United National Movement (UNM) opposition party to regain office. 

PM Garibashvili said that Saakashvili has plans to stage a provocation if he is brought to a civil clinic due to his health condition caused by a hunger strike he began 29 days ago. 

If we had allowed Saakashvili’s transfer to a civil clinic (as the former president demands) instead of a prison clinic, he and his UNM party had plans to assemble about 4,000-5,000 supporters at the clinic and even kill people to stage a provocation and spark tension,” Garibashvili said. 

He stated that the government is better informed of Saakashvili’s and UNM’s plans ‘and internal conflicts, that they think.’ 

Garibashvili said that the government had ensured all types of service, including comprehensive medical care, for Saakashvili in prison and also offered a transfer to a prison clinic which is ‘well-equipped.’ 

Saakashvili has resumed taking medicines and consultations with doctors. He refused yesterday to take medicines, claiming that his communication with lawyers was restricted. The Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia responded his allegations the same day. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

We have done our best. There is no question that Saakashvili lacks something in prison. If he refuses to receive the medical care and commits a suicide, the state will not take responsibility for this. We have 10,000 inmates and if all of them raise some demands, it will lead us to chaos,” Garibashvili said.

Commenting on election run-offs on Saturday, Garibashvili said that the second round of elections should give an answer to a main question.

The question is what do Georgians need: the winning of opposition candidates in several regions which will cause instability, or the winning of the ruling party candidates which will ensure stability, peace and development?” Garibashvili said.

Garibashvili vowed that he will be personally involved in the development of each municipality to ensure the fulfilment of all promises given by the GD candidates.