05:19 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Saakashvili chewing his tie as he waited for a BBC interview.

    ‘I’ll Be Back’: Georgian President’s Website Hacked to Feature Saakashvili’s Photo

    © Photo : BBC screenshot
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    Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, wanted on corruption charges back home, has had his previously revoked Ukrainian citizenship restored. However, he expressed an intention in early summer to soon travel back to Georgia.

    Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched investigation into a cyberattack in which President Salome Zurabishvili’s website sported an image of the country’s former head of state Mikheil Saakashvili, accompanied by the inscription “I’ll be back”.

    The presidential website was hacked on Monday, along with a whole range of other portals, such as information agency websites, as well as the online platforms of local councils, courts, etc. For the time being, the president’s website is not operating.

    The ministry’s press service detailed that an investigation is intensely being carried out, with criminal cases having been opened over hacking and infringement of intellectual property.

    Georgia has been seeking its former president’s extradition since 2014, indicting him on several criminal felonies, such as abuse of power and embezzlement of $5 million in state funds.

    In 2015, Saakashvili was appointed governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and renounced his Georgian citizenship upon obtaining a new Ukrainian passport.

    In the next two years, Kiev rejected several extradition requests by Tbilisi before ousting Saakashvili in July 2017 and revoking his citizenship. Saakashvili has since been staying in Warsaw, Poland, and although his Ukrainian passport has been restored, he has explicitly stated plans to return to his home country in the near future. "One to three months", Saakashvili told Ukraine’s 1+1 broadcaster in June, when asked about his comeback plans.

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    Tags:
    hacking, court, criminal case, president, Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili
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