Georgian ex-President Saakashvili charged

Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili is charged with abuse of authority. The Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated a criminal case against him. Vano Merabishvili, an ex-interior minister and ex-prime minister, Zyrab Adeishvili, an ex-minister for justice, David Kezerashvili, the ex-minister for defense, and Gigi Ugulava, an ex-mayor of Tbilisi, are the suspects of the case.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Saakashvili and his executives were charged with the crackdown on protesters on November 7, 2007, attacking Imedi TV and confiscating property of billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili. Saakashvili may get up to 8 years of jail.

He was summoned to the Prosecutor General’s Office this morning but refused to come, News Georgia reports.

Georgian political analyst Georgy Nodia said that Mikheil Saakashvili’s “sins” during the presidency were way too obvious. The expert believes that the charges were pressed by the Georgian Dream coalition to achieve the final victory over the United National Movement after the municipal elections.

Nodia explained that Georgian authorities, the government and unspoken leader billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, had been following the unofficial agreement to refrain from persecuting Saakashvili. They have changed their mind. The analyst believes that it was Ivanishvili’s personal decision.

Nodia noted that the 22% of the population supporting the United National Movement were not a big group, but such support was enough to keep the party running as the main opposition force. He predicts that the falling rating of Georgian Dream may cause problems at the 2016 parliamentary elections. In his words, the coalition will try to criminalize Saakashvili to discredit his party.

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