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Georgia’s Ex-President Brought to Trial

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Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili was brought to trial amid a possible six-year jail term for abuse of office.

It was Saakashvili’s first courtroom appearance since the Caucasus country’s top opposition leader’s return from exile on October 1, 2021. Georgia’s president during 2004-13, Saakashvili had refused food for 50 days to protest his prosecution.

Saakashvili was in a “critical condition” as he continues a hunger strike for more than two months.

He may soon face potentially fatal health complications, rights sources said.

Saakashvili is in jail since October 1 shortly after he returned from exile in Ukraine.

Prior to his arrest, he had posted on Facebook a video message calling on supporters to take to the streets against the government.

Saakashvili announced his return from Ukraine to the country he left in 2013 via Facebook, saying “I risked my life and freedom to return!”.

Thus, the government had warned him that they will arrest him immediately for “abuse of power”.

However, critics have accused it of using criminal prosecutions to punish political opponents and journalists.

But, Interpol turned down requests from Tbilisi to issue a red notice against Saakashvili.

In 2018, he received a six-years prison sentence for contempt of court. Saakashvili argues the case against him is political.

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