Mikheil Saakashvili charged with misappropriation of budget funds
TBILISI, August 13 (RAPSI) – Georgia’s Main Prosecutor General’s Office has charged former president Mikheil Saakashvili with misappropriation of the budget funds, prosecutors announced at a briefing on Wednesday.
The charges are related to misappropriation of nearly $5 million by Georgia’s State Guard’s special service on Saakashvili’s order. According to prosecutors, the funds have been spent on the personal purposes including the hotel service for foreign guests, the services of a cook and massage therapist and yacht lease in Italy.
Saakashvili faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.
Earlier, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia brought criminal charges against Saakashvili in a case that includes charges of dispersing an opposition rally in November 2007, the raid of Imedi television station offices, plus the seizure of billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili’s property. The case was opened on Article 333 Part 3 of the Criminal Code of Georgia on excessive use of power, use of violence or a weapon, and the breach of the dignity of a victim. On August 2, the Tbilisi City Court ordered the pre-trial detention of Saakashvili in absentia.
On August 5, Georgia’s Main Prosecutor General’s Office brought new criminal charges against Saakashvili and former prime minister Vano Merabishvili. The charges are related to an assault on Valery Gelashvili, a member of the Georgian parliament, in 2005.
Saakashvili left Georgia immediately after the inauguration of the new president last November and has not returned to his home country since. In late 2013, he moved to the US where he took up a teaching position. However, over the past few months, he has regularly visited Kiev to give informal consultations to local officials.