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Georgian minister says Saakashvili to be transferred to prison ‘when time is right’

Ex-president Mikhail Saakashvili is in the private Vivamed clinic in Tbilisi

TBILISI, May 23. /TASS/. Georgian Justice Minister Rati Bregadze said that the time will definitely come when convicted ex-president Mikhail Saakashvili, who is in the private Vivamed clinic in Tbilisi, will be transferred back to prison.

"The time will come, and he (Saakashvili - TASS) will definitely be transferred to an appropriate penitentiary institution, because in Georgia a convicted prisoner serves his or her sentence in a penitentiary institution. This day will definitely come," Bregadze said in an interview with the Imedi TV channel.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced earlier on Thursday that it had completely rejected Saakashvili's two complaints in which he accused the country's current authorities of persecution on political grounds. According to the published ruling, Saakashvili claimed that the verdicts issued against him on January 5 and June 28, 2018, were based on unverified rumors and other unreliable evidence. In 2018, the Tbilisi City Court sentenced Saakashvili in absentia to three years in prison for the murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani. In the same year, he was sentenced to six years in prison in the case of the attack on lawmaker Valery Gelashvili.

In October 2021, Saakashvili arrived in Georgia secretly, but was arrested. On October 20, a criminal case was opened against Saakashvili under Article 344 of the Georgian Criminal Code ("Illegal Crossing of the State Border of Georgia"). This crime is punishable by up to five years in prison. In May 2022, due to the deterioration of his health, he was transferred to the private Vivamed clinic in Tbilisi, where he remains up to this day.