The messenger logo

Saakashvili denies desire for political asylum

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, August 1
Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili is not going to seek political asylum owing to the charges filed against him by the Prosecutor’s Office. Saakashvili stresses that his detention is only in Russian interests and emphasizes that his charges have revolted all Georgian allies.

Currently Saakashvili is being charged in two cases: one concerns the dispersal of a peaceful demonstration on November 7, 2007, another is related to the raid in Imedi TV, and illegal seizure of a businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili’s property.

"Why do I need political asylum? As you can see, all countries are happy to receive me. I have an excellent reception in the United States of America and you should see their reactions. I am welcomed worldwide,” Saakashvili said to Rustavi 2 from Budapest, stressing that the only county which justified charges against him and was happy with the situation was Russia.

“Only Russians are happy to limit my ability to travel because they are irritated with my actions in Ukraine,” Saakashvili said.

The former President advised the current government to get testimonies against him from Putin, Medvedev and General Borisov,

“I can give them a long list of who will give them their favorable testimony about me,” Saakashvili admitted.

Saakashvili concluded that there are only two countries he cannot visit. “Unfortunately, one of them is Georgia. My son and family lives there and I miss them. But this is a temporary obstacle,” Saakashvili said.

Member of the Georgian Dream Levan Berdzenishvili states that asylum will be much needed for Saakashvili, and Hungary is a likely candidate.

The MP stresses that the country has already granted asylum to former Georgian official Zurab Adeishvili, as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is Saakashvili’s close friend. The Hungarian official has already assessed Saakashvili’s cases as politically grounded.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili refrained from commenting on Saakashvili’s statements, stressing that an objective investigation will be undertaken.

Human Rights Union Chairman Nikoloz Mzhavanadze states that Saakashvili will face additional charges in the coming days, as Saakashvili declared that he had issued an order regarding the special operation carried out in Svaneti.

“But the prosecutor’s office does not have enough evidence yet regarding the above-mentioned case”, Mzhavanadze said.

During a special operation in Mestia, a brother and a father from the Aprasidze family were killed, while two detainees were sentenced to 19 and 17 years in jail. They were released in 2013, through the large-scale amnesty under the new government.

The majority appeals to the former President to arrive in Georgia and stand before the court if he is so innocent, when the United National Movement is speaking about political persecution.