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Saakashvili writes letter in response to Georgian president's refusal to pardon him

Friday, 16 June 2023, 21:09
Saakashvili writes letter in response to Georgian president's refusal to pardon him

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia and a Ukrainian citizen, who is currently under arrest in Georgia, has responded to President Salome Zourabichvili, who has refused to pardon him.

Source: Saakashvili's letter, sent to Ukrainska Pravda in response to our interview with the President of Georgia

The letter verbatim: "I am in a Georgian prison because when I came to Ukraine in 2014 and started helping the new government after the Euromaidan [Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity, 2013-2014 – ed.], Putin ordered the oligarch Ivanishvili, whom he put in power in Georgia by giving him US$2 billion, to initiate criminal proceedings against me.


Putin could not forgive me for supporting the first Ukrainian Maidan in 2004 and for not letting his army enter Tbilisi and defending Georgian statehood in 2008.

I ended up [in Georgia – ed.] in 2021, because I saw that we were being completely dragged under Russia and I tried to save the situation.

Then the war started, and I consider myself Putin’s personal prisoner of war.


I have been poisoned, tortured. I am being tried on accusations that have been created out of thin air.

I am very grateful to President Zelenskyy and his office, who have publicly defended my rights repeatedly.

Ukraine is demanding my repatriation as a citizen of Ukraine. The European Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution demanding my release, calling my arrest ‘the personal vendetta of an oligarch’.

As for [President] Zourabichvili, she is distinguished by her hypocrisy and never does anything that is not beneficial to Ivanishvili.

She blamed Georgia for the 2008 war.

Although sometimes she says the right things, now she is just begging for an invitation from Zelenskyy.

Zourabichvili is an ordinary puppet of Ivanishvili, which he uses to distract the West and Ukraine.

Suffice it to mention that she demanded that I be tried for the ‘attack on Tskhinvali’ [a Russian-occupied city in Georgia – ed.] (that is, Russia) in 2008.

She fully approved of armed provocations by Russia.

She now plays a role similar to that of the Hungarian president.

I understand that any word of support is important now, but Ukrainians should not be deceived. Behind this woman's empty words is Ivanishvili's active cooperation with the Russians in the issue of circumventing sanctions.

Kadyrovites [the Chechen forces subject to Ramzan Kadyrov that fight as part of the Russian army – ed.] and officers of the aggressor country’s secret services are visiting Georgia way too often.

Zourabichvili makes toasts about the occupation and Europe, but regarding me, as Putin's personal prisoner of war, and regarding other pressing issues, she does not deviate one iota from the stance of the Russian party."


Background: In her interview with Ukrainska Pravda, Zourabichvili stated that she refuses to pardon Saakashvili because the Georgian people believe that Saakashvili should pay for the crimes committed during his leadership of the country.

For reference: Saakashvili was detained in Tbilisi in October 2021 shortly after returning to Georgia, where he was charged with several criminal offences. For two of them, he was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison even before his return.

He calls himself "Putin's prisoner of war" and considers all the accusations against him to be politically motivated.

During his imprisonment, Saakashvili went on hunger strike twice and switched medical institutions several times. In May of last year, he was transferred from the Rustavi prison to the Vivamedi multidisciplinary clinic on the outskirts of Tbilisi.

Saakashvili's relatives and supporters have been raising concerns about his health for a long time, believing that he needs life-saving treatment abroad. The authorities say he is deliberately harming his health in order to secure his release from prison and accuse his supporters of speculating and politicising the issue.

On 1 December 2022, Saakashvili's lawyers petitioned the court for his release or deferral of his criminal punishment due to serious diagnoses, but after two months of court hearings, the judge refused to grant the defence's request, leaving the former president in detention in a Tbilisi clinic.

On 6 February, the city court of Tbilisi did not grant the request made by the lawyers of the imprisoned ex-president of Georgia and citizen of Ukraine for his early release on health grounds.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said it was disappointed by the court's decision to reject the request made by Saakashvili's defence for a deferral of or exemption from punishment due to his poor state of health.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy believes that the life of former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has Ukrainian citizenship, now depends on Georgia making an ethical decision.

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