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President says ex-President’s Georgian citizenship depends on Saakashvili’s action

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 4
Georgia’s current President Giorgi Margvelashvili says that Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s fate in terms of his Georgian citizenship will be dependent on Saakashvili’s future steps.

Margvelashvili explained that in the future steps he meant whether Saakashvili would appeal him to grant the Georgian citizenship or not.

Margvelashvili stressed that he has not criticized Saakashvili over the past five years, in the time he was the president.

“I had been criticizing his actions for ten years when Saakashvili was in power. When he lost his power I stopped criticizing him. Those people who had been silent for the ten years are now vocal against Saakashvili. I keep silence in this regard as I believe that our country should live with the future and not with the past,” Margvelashvili stated.

The president of Georgia is the only authorized person who can grant the citizenship.

Saakashvili was automatically deprived of his Georgian citizenship in 2015 when he received the Ukrainian citizenship, as the Georgian constitution allows dual citizenship only in exceptional situations.

“I disliked when Saakashvili refused Georgian citizenship to receive the Ukrainian citizenship. I stated very clear then that a person who was elected as a president twice should have respected his country enough not to say no on his citizenship,” Margvelashvili stated.

“I will make a decision whether to re-grant Saakashvili the Georgian citizenship only after if Saakashvili appeals to me with a relevant request,” Margvelashvili added.

Saakashvili who was deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship more than a week ago as he “hid” that he was wanted in Georgia for several charges related to exceeding of official powers, claims he would continue fighting in Ukraine for his rights through “all legal measures.”

He stresses his aim is to overturn Petro Poroshenko and his “corrupted regime”, the man who was once described as his close ally and who appointed him as Odessa governor in 2015.

It is less likely Saakashvili will address Georgia for granting the Georgian citizenship. And, if arrives in Ukraine he faces a risk to be extradited to Georgia.

The extradition may mean several years in prison for Georgia’s former leader.

If he asks for the Georgian citizenship anyway, he is very likely to do this from some other country he would feel safe, rather than from Ukraine.

Taking Saakashvili’s character into account, it is less likely he will appear before the court based on his own will.