TBILISI, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is accused of abuse of power, may soon be put on the international wanted list, the country’s justice minister, Tea Tsulukiani, said on Monday.
“The court has ordered the pre-trial detention of [Saakashvili] and he has an obligation to face the trial. And all the measures prescribed by the law, including international ones, can be used to make this person appear before the court,” Tsulukiani stressed, adding that such legal frameworks can be applied to any defendant, not only Saakashvili.
“Mikheil Saakashvili is an ordinary defendant,” the justice minister said.
On August 2, a Tbilisi City Court upheld the claims of the prosecutor’s office in Georgia and ordered the pre-trial detention of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, former Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili and former Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili.
The three were charged in absentia last week with abuse of power in connection with the crackdown on protesters in November 2007, the raid on Imedi TV and the acquisition of property.
Defense lawyers for the former politicians have already submitted a claim to the Tbilisi Appeals Court demanding a reversal of the decision.
Lawyers representing Saakashvili, Adeishvili and Kezerashvili insist the charges are purely politically motivated.
Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili and former Tbilisi Mayor Giorgi Ugulava are also listed as suspects in the case.