Saakashvili may be allowed to attend trials concerning him

  • Justice Minister Rati Bregadze says that former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who was convicted in Georgia in absentia in 2018 for abuse of power, will not be released from prison. Photo: Justice Ministry press office. 

     

Agenda.ge, 23 Nov 2021 - 11:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Justice Minister Rati Bregadze says that former president Mikheil Saakashvili may be brought to court to attend trial hearings in his own cases, as Saakashvili has called off his 50-day hunger strike and is now receiving medical care in Gori military hospital. 

Bregadze has told Imedi TV that Saakashvili was refused attendance at three trial hearings in cases concerning him because of ‘security threats and taking Saakshvili’s health while on hunger strike into account.’ 

If the risks are removed, Saakashvili will be able to attend the hearings,” Bregadze said. 

In previous comments, government officials stated that opposition activists had plans to cause unrest in the streets during the transportation of the former president to the court. 

Bregadze said that the opposition’s demands regarding the release of Saakashvili from prison have ‘no legal grounds,’ while the Georgian Dream government ‘always acts in accordance with the law.’ 

Saakashvili says that he is a political prisoner. Opposition has been demanding his release since the day of his arrest in Tbilisi. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

Saakashvili, who is now a citizen of Ukraine, was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1 after eight years in political exile. 

He says he returned to remove the Georgian Dream from power, accusing the current government of changing the country’s pro-western course. 

The former president was transferred to Gori military hospital last week, on his 50th day of a hunger strike. 

Saakashvili was convicted in Georgia in absentia in 2018 for abuse of power and was sentenced to six years in prison. 

He has also been charged with five other offenses, including illegal seizure of property, illegal rally dispersal, embezzlement, abuse of power and illegally crossing the border

Trial hearings have been held in three cases so far – illegal rally dispersal, illegally crossing the border, and embezzlement of state funds. 

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