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Court of Appeals Upholds Guilty Verdict against Saakashvili

The Court of Appeals upheld on July 18 a guilty verdict delivered by the first instance court against ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was sentenced in absentia on charges of abusing power in pardoning the former Interior Ministry officials, convicted in the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani.

In a statement released on July 18, the Prosecutor’s Office said the ex-President exceeded his authority when he halved the sentences of convicted officials leading to their eventual release.

“The crime was planned and carried out with President Mikheil Saakashvili’s support and his direct involvement, enabling various branches of state power to conduct biased and incomplete investigation into the circumstances of the crime,” it said.

The Prosecutor’s Office added that Saakashvili was also complicit in covering up “the real causes of the crime, as well as the officials involved,” that resulted in “falsification of the case, inadequate sentences and undue enforcement of the court ruling.”

Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili was found guilty in the Girgvliani case on January 5, 2018, and was sentenced to three years in prison with a 1.5-year ban on holding public office. This was the first sentence delivered against Saakashvili in Georgia.

On June 28, the ex-President was found guilty of exceeding authority and organizing attack against then opposition MP Valeri Gelashvili, who was brutally beaten up in Tbilisi in 2005. Saakashvili is also wanted on two additional criminal cases. He denies the charges as politically motivated.

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