A disclosure of the law firm Akerman with the United States Justice Department has shown it received $917,177 from the family of the imprisoned former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for the purpose of lobbying US Government officials to help free the former official.
The disclosure, filed on February 3 under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, also revealed a large part of the money received for lobbying activities, up to about $300,000, had been used to pay medical experts involved in preparing reports as part of the efforts to make the case for his release in Georgian court proceedings.
The document also showed that Massimo D'Angelo, a New York partner at the Miami-based law firm, had been working on Saakashvili's case since July and was part of a “diplomatic push” to secure his release from prison.
As part of the efforts, D'Angelo and others communicated with government officials in the United States and Europe about measures to "hold Georgian officials accountable" for Saakashvili's imprisonment, the disclosure said, including through economic penalties, sanctions and suspension of foreign aid to the country.
Akerman's disclosure also noted its work for Saakashvili would include engaging with foreign diplomats and US officials to gain support for their client and “secure his release from prison on humanitarian grounds”.
Saakashvili, who was wanted in Georgia, was arrested in Tbilisi in October 2021, after his clandestine return to the country, and is serving a six-year term for two separate cases of abuse of power while in office, with three other cases involving his term pending.