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Georgian Justice Ministry suggests stripping former president Saakashvili of citizenship

December 03, 2015, 15:27 UTC+3 TBILISI

Mikheil Saakashvili was appointed Odessa region governor by President Petro Poroshenko in May

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Mikheil Saakashvili in Ukraine's Odessa

Mikheil Saakashvili in Ukraine's Odessa

© Arkhip Vereschagin/TASS

TBILISI, December 3. /TASS/.Georgia's Justice Ministry has advised President Georgy Margvelashvili to strip the country’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, of Georgian citizenship, Justice Minister Teya Tsulukiani told reporters on Thursday.

She said a recommendation had been referred to the president "to strip the former president and now citizen of Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili, of Georgian citizenship", noting that the final decision rests with the president.

"We gave Mikheil Saakashvili about a month, as envisaged by Georgian laws, to express his position on termination of his citizenship," the minister said. She said a ministry letter was handed to Saakashvili in Odessa in Ukraine on November 3, but as no reply came, the decision was now referred to the president.

Saakashvili was appointed Odessa region governor by President Petro Poroshenko in May. He was also granted Ukrainian citizenship.

Saakashvili was Georgia’s president from January 2004 to November 2007 and from January 2008 to November 2013. He left his country in mid-November 2013, days before his presidential term expired and inauguration of the current head of state.

After his departure from Georgia, Saakashvili stayed in the United States and Ukraine. Before being appointed Odessa governor, he worked in Kiev as head of the International Reform Council.

Georgian prosecutors brought several charges against Saakashvili in 2014. He was charged with a crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in November 2007; illegal intrusion into the building of Imedi television channel; illegal acquisition of property belonging to businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili; organisation of an armed attack on deputy Valery Gelashvili in 2005; covering-up a crime and falsification of an investigation into the 2006 murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani; and misappropriation of about $5 million from state funds in 2009-2012.

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