TBILISI, October 12. /TASS/. Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili was attacked by unidentified persons during a meeting with Georgian emigrants in Athens, Mtavari Arxi Georgian opposition TV channel reported Monday.
The channel cited a video provided by witnesses of the incident. The attack took place in front of a building before the meeting. As Saakashvili with his supporters was about to enter the hall, an unidentified man approached the politician from behind and hit him on the head a few times; a brawl ensued. Somebody used tear gas in the fight.
Saakashvili himself slammed the incident as a provocation. "We thank the Greek police for highly professional, rapid and adequate reaction, preventing the provocation, and providing the safety of our compatriots during the meeting," he wrote on his Facebook page.
The Georgian United National Movement political party founded by Saakashvili nominated him as Georgian prime minister on September 6. The ex-president agreed to head the government but only for two years. He believes that this is enough to "get the country out of a quagmire." The parliamentary elections are due in the country on October 31. Saakashvili served as Georgian president between January 2004 and November 2013. In 2013, he fled the country a few days before his presidential term expired. Four criminal cases were launched against him shortly, with verdicts already delivered on two of them. The former leader is facing 11 years in prison. In December 2015, he was stripped of Georgian citizenship.