Georgia may execute Saakashvili in prison

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Georgia under the leadership of Mikheil Saakashvili (2004-2013) was a model for all CIS states. He quickly overcame corruption in this post-Soviet country. At that time, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kammukhanbet Kasimov, in his report to the Mazhilis, said that he had defeated corruption in Georgia’s internal affairs bodies, especially in the traffic police, and that he had sent a large delegation to learn from his experience.

Soviet backward Georgia became a European state under Saakashvili. A modern resort town full of eye-catching legal buildings was built in Batumi, outside the transformed Tbilisi. People’s well-being has improved. Investors came to the country. The European Union announced that Georgia is the first among the countries in the region to be eligible for EU membership.

Like the leaders of the post-Soviet space, Saakashvili did not cleave to the presidency. After the end of his mandate, he vacated his position and even left the country. Instead, pro-Kremlin forces took control of Georgia. According to the post-Soviet tradition, they initiated several criminal cases against M. Saakashvili with a political tone and prevented his return to the country.

Mikheil Saakashvili actively supported the Euromaidan movement in Ukraine, which turned to the West in 2014, helped Ukrainians to get rid of the pro-Kremlin and corrupt old government. For that service, in 2015, he achieved the position of the chairman of the Odesa regional administration. As the chairman of the International Council of Reforms, he contributed to the revivals in Ukraine. He was an adviser to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. In return, Poroshenko gave him Ukrainian citizenship.

Of course, the open-minded, straight-talking, persistent politician did not like the Ukrainian authorities and got into many scandals. Currently, political scientists say that Ukraine’s democracy has had a powerful influence on the fact that it did not lose the war and achieved some success. Saakashvili also has his signature in this victorious democracy.

In 2016, he left all his positions and became the leader of the protest against the incumbent President Poroshenko, who began to make friends with the Moscow oligarchs. For this reason, the Head of State deprived him of Ukrainian citizenship in 2017 by his decree, and in February 2018 he was expelled from the country.

Mikhail moved to his wife’s homeland, the Netherlands.

In May 2019, the new President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, took into account his services to the country and returned his Ukrainian citizenship. Mikheil Saakashvili rushed to Kyiv the next day as soon as the decree was issued. In his interviews, he used to say that he dreams of returning Georgia, whose government has become too pro-Russian, to the European avenue. After the global pandemic, when the borders were opened, that is, in September 2021, Saakashvili returned to Tbilisi in order to realize his dream and ideal. Crowds of people came out to meet him and filled the streets of the capital.

However, Georgian authorities, terrified of political competition, immediately arrested Mikheil Saakashvili. Since then, he has been suffering in the hell of an iron cage.

At the end of last week, on April 9, 2023, a large rally was held near the Parliament of Georgia demanding the release of Mikheil Saakashvili. The West is also asking for amnesty. The US is even imposing sanctions on the judges who tried the ex-President on the basis of slander. But the heart of the Georgian authorities did not lose heart.

Saakashvili’s lawyers appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, demanding that the politician be transferred abroad for treatment before temporarily suspending the execution of the sentence imposed on him. The authorities claim that he is being treated by local doctors.

According to the lawyers, almost a year has passed since Saakashvili was treated by the Tbilisi clinic, but the treatment did not work for him: Saakashvili developed cachexia and dementia, in simple words, he began to lose his mind. Independent doctors announced that he was even in critical condition. 

Opposition politicians and experts point out that behind these games is Georgia’s unofficial ruler, Russian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The fate of Saakashvili is being followed by the European public. Not his lawyers, but the well-known French philosopher and publicist Bernard-Henri Levy announced on Twitter that Saakashvili’s lawyers sued the Georgian authorities in Strasbourg.

The Government of Poland expressed its readiness to urgently take the ex-President of Georgia for medical treatment abroad.

According to Georgiy Chaladze, the head of staff for Saakashvili’s release, Georgian doctors are only treating his symptoms, or rather, the politician needs to be treated for heavy metal poisoning.

Earlier, American toxicologist David Smith found barium, bismuth and mercury in Saakashvili’s body. The expert speculated that someone might poison the former head of Georgia after he was imprisoned.

Experts of the Georgian non-governmental organization “Empathy” also found traces of highly toxic mercury in M. Saakashvili’s body. 

In turn, the American neuroscientist Shahin Ymmanuil Lakhani presented his report to the court in January of this year: it showed that Saakashvili’s dementia had begun and was rapidly progressing. According to the law, those suffering from this disease must be released.

Lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze warned that it is not clear what decision the international court will make in the future and urged not to get too much hope. According to him, the most important thing is to get Saakashvili released and receiving high-quality treatment before he dies.

Sh. Khachapuridze stressed that the trial against Saakashvili will be unique and unprecedented in history: the European Court of Human Rights has never heard a case against former presidents before. Basically, it considers the complaints of ordinary people and social activists who have suffered from the authorities.

But Tbilisi seems determined to let its former leader rot in prison. Saakashvili is no longer on the list of those pardoned by President Salome Zurabishvili for the current Easter holiday.

European politicians and intellectuals are supporting the ex-President of Georgia. Now another powerful supporter has appeared: Anthony Blinken, head of the US State Department, made a sensational statement on April 5. According to him, there is no confidence that the Georgian court will give a fair trial, because the Georgian court is full of corruption and it is controlled by the “clan”.

E. Blinken personally announced to the international community that for the first time in the history of Georgian-American relations, sanctions were imposed on Georgia. At the same time, the top leadership of the “clan of judges” was included in the sanctions blacklist. Among them are the chairman of the Court of Appeal of Georgia, Mikhail Chinchaladze, a prominent member of the Supreme Council of Justice, Levan Murusidze, the judge of the Tbilisi Court of Appeal, Irakli Shengelia, and the former chairman of this court, Valerian Tsertsvadze.

The White House said that this is only the beginning, that they will monitor those who are abusing the power in Georgia.

The US sanctions and stern warning caused panic and hysteria at the top of the Georgian government. As a sign of this, Georgian Foreign Minister Ilya Darchiashvili himself signed and sent a letter to Washington. There, the Georgian minister strongly demanded an explanation from the White House and the lifting of sanctions.

“Thank you for not declaring war on the United States,” Georgians wrote on social networks.

Thus, the fire of the scandal regarding the former President of Georgia began to grow at the global level.

Source: inbusiness