TBILISI, November 20. /TASS/. Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said he is ready to head the political council of the United National Movement party he founded, which is in opposition.
“I take political responsibility for ensuring that, firstly, all our experienced “fighters” return to the political council, and for some reason many honored people find themselves excluded from the political council. I take upon myself the coordination of the political council, leadership and [ответственность за] that they (the expelled members – TASS note) will be reintegrated into the party and the party will be open to other unions and people,” Saakashvili said at a court hearing, which he joined via video link from the Vivamed clinic.
On Monday, the Tbilisi City Court is holding another hearing in the case of Saakashvili embezzling state funds on a large scale. At the beginning of the meeting, the ex-president connected via video link and, as usual, used the time given to him for political statements. In particular, he called on President Salome Zurabishvili to pardon him, despite the fact that several criminal cases have been opened against him, for which the verdict has not yet been announced.
The United National Movement party held elections at the beginning of this year. Levan Khabeishvili became the new head of the association, replacing Nika Melia. After this, several people left the party. Koba Nakopia was replaced as chairman of the political council of the party by Levan Bezhashvili.
Saakashvili, who is a citizen of Ukraine, left the republic in 2013, after which four criminal cases were opened against him in the country, in two of which the politician was sentenced in absentia to three and another six years in prison. In October 2021, Saakashvili secretly arrived in Georgia, but was detained, after which he was charged with illegal border crossing.
In May 2022, due to deteriorating health, he was taken to the private Tbilisi clinic “Vivamed”, where he is still staying.