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Saakashvili refuses to participate in ‘Putin’s game’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, March 24
Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili stresses that he is not going to take part in the “Ivanishvili-Putin game”. The statements concerns Saakashvili’s summoning by the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office for interrogation in 10 different cases. Saakashvili believes that the current government of Georgia is still ruled by the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is nothing more than a Russian proxy.

Saakashvili emphasized that he was told by a senior EU official that it was “a direct order from Putin to arrest him.” He claims that he has temporarily left Georgia in order to save Georgia’s reputation, as his arrest would have “killed” Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

“As it seems in recent weeks I have been stuck in Vladimir Putin’s throat,” he says, adding that his government has created many problems for the Russia Federation.

“But if Putin thinks that I will quietly surrender, of course that is nonsense. I am going to continue the struggle for liberation of Georgia and the entire region as a free person. No one will be able to disturb my moves,” Saakashvili stated. The ex-president ensured that nothing would stop him, except for being “physically liquidated” by Putin.

Through the statements made by the Prosecutor’s Office on March 22, Saakashvili is being summoned for interrogation on March 27, 2014 at 13:00.

The Chief Prosecutor of Georgia explains that the case is related to the release of the convicted G. Alania, Al. Ghachava, M. Bibiluridze and A. Aptsiauri on pardon upon the president’s order on 24 November, 2008.

The office also published the list of cases where the interrogation of Saakashvili “is necessary”:

Including the illegal raid on TV Imedi in February of 2008; the embezzlement of 8, 837, 461 GEL that belonged to the Special State Protection Service within the period of 2009-2012; the circumstances related to the death of the Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania; conceding the shares under coercion by the legitimate owners of TV Rustavi 2 and TV MZE in June of 2004; the liquidation of G. Krialashvili, as well as the wounding of L. Amiridze and K. Otanadze during the special operation conducted on behalf of the Mukhorvani Mutiny on May 20, 2009, among other cases.

Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili stated that in the case Saakashvili denies collaboration with the investigation, Saakashvili would be declared as wanted by Georgian law-enforcement.

Parliamentary minority members Goka Gabashvili and Gigi Ugulava share Saakashvili’s vision, stressing that the processes related to Saakashvili would seriously disturb Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

Meanwhile, coalition members Manana Kobakhidze and Kakhi Kaladze emphasize that no one stands above the law in the country. Kobakhidze states that there have always been questions towards Saakashvili. However, no one dared to ask the questions until the coalition’s coming to power.

Head of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Kakha Kozhoridze states that Saakashvili has no political immunity and there is nothing illegal in the ex-president’s summons for interrogation. According to him, Saakashvili should collaborate with the investigation.