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All legal norms to be observed with regards to Saakashvili, Georgian authorities say

According to the politician, the former president arrived in order to attempt a coup d’etat

TBILISI, October 2. /TASS/. Procedures related to the detention of Georgia’s ex-president Mikhail Saakashvili and his subsequent imprisonment will comply with all legal norms, head of the Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia ruling party, former parliament speaker Irakli Kobakhidze told journalists on Saturday.

"As for Mikhail Saakashvili, all the procedures with regards to him will be conducted in accordance with all legal norms," he said.

According to the politician, the former president arrived in order to attempt a coup d’etat. "He came to Georgia in order to commit a coup d’etat and provoke disturbances in the country. Accordingly, law enforcement undertook all measures in order to intercept his new crime," the politician stressed.

The head of the ruling party noted that Saakashvili hasn’t been leaving Georgia alone for 18 years. "At first, for the first nine years when he was in office, and you remember the crimes he committed, and then another nine years in the opposition," he concluded.

On Friday, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced that Saakashvili had been detained. The former president was taken to a detention facility in Georgia’s Rustavi. Earlier, Saakashvili announced that he returned to his homeland in time for the election to local government bodies on October 2.

Saakashvili served as President of Georgia from January 2004 to November 2013. In 2013, he left the country a few days before the expiration of his presidential term. Following that, four criminal cases were opened against him with verdicts returned on two of them. In January 2018, the Tbilisi City Court sentenced Saakashvili in absentia to three years behind bars for the 2006 murder of Sandro Girgvliani, an employee of the Georgian United Bank. In June 2018, the court sentenced him to six years in prison for the 2005 assault of lawmaker Valery Gelashvili.

Recently, Saakashvili who has a Ukrainian citizenship, has been residing in Ukraine. During the preparation for the October 2 municipal election he repeatedly stated his intention to come to Georgia despite a likely arrest. On October 1, he published a video recording claiming that he was in Georgia’s Batumi at the time.