Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, made a remote appearance in court on July 3, marking his first attendance since February 1. Disturbing video footage from the session indicates a noticeable decline in Saakashvili's physical well-being.
According to a Georgian media outlet, Echo of the Caucasus and Mtavari.tv, Saakashvili connected remotely to the Tbilisi City Court, where a case relating to the dispersal of the November 7, 2007 protest rally is currently being heard.
During his address, Saakashvili responded to the statement made by Shalva Papuashvili, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, who had earlier demanded an apology from foreign and local opponents, including Members of the European Parliament, who criticized Georgian authorities for unfair and inhumane treatment of Saakashvili.
"Apparently, Europe should apologize, including the European Parliament, for demanding my release. I want to tell the so-called head of the parliament that you should apologize for bringing me to such a state," emphasized Saakashvili.
"You are responsible for my current situation. You owe an apology to the MEPs, to me, to my family, to Ukraine for one of its citizens being in this situation, and to all Georgians for putting the founder of the [modern] Georgian state in this position. Papuashvili, take a good look at me," the imprisoned politician implored.
Saakashvili further asserted that although he may be physically weak, he remains mentally strong, inspired, and very courageous.
In 2018, Saakashvili was convicted in absentia by a Georgian court for his involvement in cases related to amnesty for individuals accused in the death of Sandro Girgvliani and the assault on former parliament member Valery Gelashvili. The court found Saakashvili guilty of abuse of power and sentenced him to six years in prison.
Several other criminal cases have been filed against Saakashvili, including allegations of embezzlement of funds from the Georgian budget, the dispersal of the November 7, 2007 rally, the attack on the "Imedi" television company, and the confiscation of assets belonging to the late businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili, the network's owner.
In October 2021, the Georgian Prosecutor's Office added another charge against the former president, accusing him of illegal border crossing.
Saakashvili has consistently maintained that all these cases are false and politically motivated.
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