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‘He will serve his full term’: Georgian ex-leader Saakashvili plotted to KILL opposition figures to frame government, PM claims

‘He will serve his full term’: Georgian ex-leader Saakashvili plotted to KILL opposition figures to frame government, PM claims
Mikhail Saakashvili had plotted to have Georgian opposition figures killed at mass protests after his return from exile, the prime minister said, vowing that the disgraced ex-president wouldn’t get out of serving his time in jail.

Irakli Garibashvili made the shocking allegation on Sunday in an interview with local broadcaster Imedi TV. He cited intelligence obtained by Georgia’s secret services stating that Saakashvili was seeking to appear during mass protests scheduled a day after his abrupt return to the country.

“During the culmination and mobilization of about 10,000 people – and they could probably have achieved that – the police would have had to move in to detain Saakashvili and possibly use special equipment,” Garibashvili said.

One of the scenarios they considered was the murder of several opposition leaders during the confusion that ensued.

The killings would then have been used to “delegitimize our leadership” and secure foreign support, the PM said. “Afterwards, they would have demanded the government step down and extraordinary elections be held,” Garibashvili added.

Also on rt.com Detained ex-leader Saakashvili came to Georgia to stage COUP, says head of ruling party, as projections show it leading in polls

Saakashvili’s plan to stage mass protests on Saturday flopped, as he was arrested on Friday shortly after his return to his homeland – an arrival seemingly timed to coincide with the holding of local elections. Georgian police detained him immediately they located him, accusing him of entering the country illegally.

Even worse for the “pro-Western reformer” is the fact he had already been sentenced to a combined nine years in jail in absentia in 2013, when he fled the country. The subject of multiple criminal cases, Saakashvili was charged with abuse of power, particularly in connection with the violent crackdown on the opposition during his rule.

Saakashvili lost his Georgian nationality when he was granted Ukrainian citizenship to serve as the governor of the Odessa region under then-president Petro Poroshenko. However, on Sunday, Garibashvili ruled out any possibility of the former leader returning to Ukraine before serving his prison term in Georgia.

“We are talking about a man who has been president for nine years. This is a disaster and an insult: this man has voluntarily renounced the citizenship of our country,” the PM said.

If he wants to return to Ukraine, he will be able to do so after he serves his term in full, and then he will be able to go wherever he wants.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he has been relentlessly working to return Ukrainian citizens who got in trouble abroad, adding that Saakashvili – who also holds a senior post with Ukraine’s national reforms council – was no exception.

Also on rt.com Georgia DETAINS controversial ex-President Saakashvili, who fled homeland in 2013 & was sentenced in absentia on criminal charges

“I must think of him as a citizen of Ukraine. And why he did that... Well, there are local elections [in Georgia], he probably thought that it was a political step,” Zelensky said, as he criticized Saakashvili’s decision to return. “I did not know about this decision beforehand. I think it is wrong, after all, he holds a government post.”

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