Tbilisi Court Sentences Georgian Ex-President Saakashvili to 3 Years in Absentia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A court in Tbilisi on Friday sentenced former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in absentia to three years in prison for abusing his power, within the framework of a murder case.

Tbilisi Court Sentences Georgian Ex-President Saakashvili to 3 Years in Absentia

"The city court of Tbilisi has brought in the verdict of guilty in the case on abuse of power as for Mikheil Saakashvili and set four years in custody as a punishment measure that have been reduced by one quarter within the framework of the amnesty law and finally the [punishment measure] will stand at three years in custody," the statement published on the court's website said.

The court added that Saakashvili had pardoned high-ranking officials involved in the Girgvliani murder as a result relieving them of responsibility that violated the rights of the bank official's family and the state's interests, Sputnik reported.

Commenting on the court's decision, Mikheil Saakashvili said that the decision of the court was "illegal" and violated the international law.

"The 'decision' by a Georgian court… regarding me is completely illegal and contradicts all the relevant international and national legal norms as well as common sense. 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.

In 2014, Georgian prosecution pressed criminal charges against Saakashvili in absentia, accusing the former leader of the republic of involvement in a number of criminal cases, including in the 2006 murder of Sandro Girgvliani, who worked in the United Georgian Bank.

Saakashvili left Georgia in 2013, after Giorgi Margvelashvili became the country's president and eventually went to Ukraine, where he served as the governor of the Odessa Region. Currently, Saakashvili is involved in organizing anti-government protests in Ukraine.

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