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Saakashvili responds to new charges

By Mariam Mchedlidze
Friday, August 15
Mikheil Saakashvili responded to the new charges filed against him on August 13. He stated that the charges would damage the country’s image.

New charges were brought against former President Mikheil Saakashvili with regard to the Special State Protection Service’s case on August 13. The former head of the Special State Protection Service Temur Janashia was also charged in the case.

The Prosecutor’s Office is accusing Saakashvili and Janashia of misspending GEL 8.83 million (about USD 5.1 million) of public funds between September 2009 and February 2013.

The Prosecutor’s Office web page gives detailed figures of the expenses, including those expenses that were allocated for the president and his friends’ personal puproses.The charge envisages 7-11 years imprisonement.

Saakashvili stressed that initially the current government accused him of stealing billions but couldn’t assert the blame with even one misspent lari.

“However, they are still trying to blame me using fabricated facts,” stated Saakashvili.

On his Facebook page, the former president wrote that Georgian Dream officials are arresting patriots instead of supporting our ally country- Ukraine. Their behavior will be judged by history and Georgian society,” Saakashvili said.

Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani states that proving the charges will appear shameful.

“The Prosecutor’s Office appears to have enough testimonies to charge the former president. Now everyone has to be judged by the law.”

She mentioned the importance of explaining to people why the budget intended for them was misspent by Saakashvili and his friends.

On the question if there is any adequate cell for Saakashvili, the Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Giorgi Mghebrishvili answered that they will create one if required.

Minority member Goka Gabashvili stated that the accusations against Saakashvili were less serious and ridiculous. He stated that spending money for general state-related purposes is natural for any government.

Saakashvili’s lawyer Otar Kakhidze stated that while speaking about the budgetary spending, the outcomes and benefits of such expense should also be assessed.