Opera singer Burchuladze asks to ‘replace’ Saakashvili in prison

Burchuladze said that he ‘does not want to be an accomplice in the third president’s murder.'

Photo: Paata Burchuladze's Facebook page

Agenda.ge, 05 Nov 2021 - 16:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian opera singer Paata Burchuladze has requested the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party let him ‘replace’ the former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in prison.

Saakashvili, who was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1 after returning from eight years in political exile, considers himself a ‘political prisoner’ and has reportedly been on a hunger strike for 36 days.

Burchuladze said that he ‘does not want to be an accomplice in the third president’s murder,’ and asked the GD to let him ‘replace’ Saakashvili in prison.

Georgian Dream, you are breaking the laws in every aspect: you stole the lost elections, you arrested innocent people and put them on trials you own. Please, break the law one more time, and give me the opportunity to replace the third president in prison. Let him be treated in a multifunctional hospital, Burchuladze wrote on his Facebook page.

Saakashvili, who is serving his sentence in Rustavi Prison No.12, demands to be treated in a civil hospital rather than a government-provided prison clinic.

Currently a citizen of Ukraine, Saakashvili was convicted by Georgian court in absentia in 2018 on two counts of abuse of power and was sentenced to six years in prison.

The former president is now facing five additional charges, including illegal seizure of property, embezzlement, illegal rally dispersal, and illegal border crossing.

Burchuladze came to politics in 2016. He led the Paata Burchuladze - Movement State for People election bloc for the 2016 parliamentary elections. His bloc received 3.45% of the total votes, but failed to gain seats in the parliament, as the electoral threshold was five percent at the time.

Prior to the 2016 parliamentary elections, GD official Irakli Kobakhidze blamed Burchuladze for a ‘secret partnership’ with Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) party.