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Georgian prosecutors launch procedure for putting Saakashvili on international wanted list

Georgia's Chief Prosecutor's Office has launched the procedure for putting former President Mikhail Saakashvili on the international wanted list, the office spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Natia Sukhiashvili told the Georgian Rustavi-2 TV in an interview that on August 14, "Mikhail Saakashvili was placed on the wanted list in Georgia," adding that based on the Chief Prosecutor's Office corresponding request, "the procedure for Saakashvili's putting on the international wanted list with issuing Interpol's Red Notice for him has been launched in parallel." Persons on this list are serious offenders who should be arrested by law enforcement agencies of any state with their subsequent extradition to the country, making the related request.

The statement was made in response to media reports that Saakashvili was staying in a Turkish village in the border area with Georgia on Saturday. The Rustavi-2 TV channel showed the footage of Saakashvili's conversation with Georgian residents in that village and his meeting with the leadership of the United National Movement (UNM) party. Saakashvili, who is the UNM chairman, said that he had "no political ambitions," however, criticised the policy of the current Georgian government.

In the period from late July to mid-August, the Chief Prosecutor's Office adopted resolutions "on bringing to criminal responsibility" of the former president "on charges of office abuse, as on November 7, 2007, hundreds of peaceful protesters were cruelly beaten up in Tbilisi, on his criminal order." He is also accused of embezzlement of state funds to the tune of 8.83 million lari ($5 million) in the period from 2009 to 2012."

Saakashvili was Georgia's president from January 2004 to November 2013. In mid-November 2013, he leaved Georgia and went first to the United States and then to Europe. He has been living mainly in Ukraine over the past six months, and from August 1 - in the United States again.

The Georgian former president has rejected all the accusations.

[Source: Itar Tass, Tbilisi, 31Aug14]

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