The Interior Ministry said today police have detained another person as part of the ongoing investigation on the illegal crossing of the Georgian state border by former President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Police detained the suspect under Article 375 (2) of the Criminal Code, involving concealment of a serious crime without prior promise and envisaging imprisonment for up to 4 years.
Earlier, prosecutors charged three other suspected accomplices under the same article. According to the authorities, two of them had transported Saakashvili to Georgia’s western Samegrelo region, and one had provided his flat in Tbilisi to the ex-President. The court ordered all three of them to remain in custody.
The defense lawyers of the three detainees had dubbed the charges absurd, arguing that the Criminal Code of Georgia does not include a particular article on harboring the offender.
Saakashvili, currently a citizen of Ukraine, left the country in November 2013 amid the end of his second presidential term, was wanted by the Georgian Dream government on multiple charges.
He was sentenced in absentia in 2018 on two separate abuse of power charges – three years for pardoning the former Interior Ministry officials, convicted in the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani, and six years for organizing an attack on opposition MP Valeri Gelashvili.
The Prosecutor’s Office said in a late-night briefing on October 1 that the Interior Ministry is leading an investigation over Saakashvili’s illegal border crossing. In this regard, new charges may be brought against Saakashvili under Article 344 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, punishable by three to five years of prison.
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