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Saakashvili calls Georgian court verdict illegal and contrary to global, national norms

Saakashvili calls Georgian court verdict illegal and contrary to global, national norms

A Tbilisi court on Friday sentenced former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in absentia to three years in prison for abusing his powers in a murder case of a banker in 2006. "To judge a president for using his right to pardon, which I applied to 133 former military service personnel and which is not limited in any way, testifies to the completely political character of this process", Saakashvili said on his Facebook account.

It is no secret that for these years Vladimir Putin has been demanding from the Georgian and Ukrainian authorities to carry out repressive measures against me.

Girgvliani was found dead outside of the capital Tbilisi with multiple injuries after arguing in a bar with high-ranking interior ministry officials.

Now, Mr. Saakashvili wrote, Mr. Ivanishvili and President Poroshenko are coordinating the legal actions against him in Ukraine and Georgia. He resigned from that post in 2016 and harshly criticized Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for not halting the official corruption that has crippled the country.

The Tbilisi City Court ruling drew criticism from members of the opposition United National Movement (UNM), who have been dismissing the prosecution's claims as "politically motivated", and have been stressing on the President's exclusive constitutional right to pardon prisoners.

In September previous year, the Georgian Chief Prosecutor's Office asked Kiev to take measures for Saakashvili's extradition, but Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko said Ukraine was not considering such option.

But Saakashvili's lawyer in Ukraine, Ruslan Chornolutskiy, told RFE/RL on January 5 that his clients legal status should prevent his extradition to Georgia.

He said any move to extradite him to Georgia "would cause a change of power in Georgia and probably in Ukraine, too".

In Ukraine, Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko has accused Saakashvili of abetting an alleged "criminal group" led by Ukraine's pro-Russia former president.

He did not provide evidence to back up the assertion.

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