Georgia's ex-president reportedly returns illegally country on truck

Mikheil Saakashvili illegally passed through Georgia customs with help of driver

Davit Kachkachishvili   | 20.10.2021
Georgia's ex-president reportedly returns illegally country on truck

TBILISI, Georgia

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili entered the country illegally on a truck with the help of a driver, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday.

The office said in a statement that Saakashvili illegally passed through Georgia’s customs on the truck that was carrying dairy products from Ukraine on the morning of Sept. 29.

According to an investigation by the Interior Ministry, he arrived in Georgia on Sept. 28 at 11 p.m. local time (1900GMT).

Saakashvili, who is a citizen of Ukraine, came to Georgia’s Black Sea port of Poti with a truck on a ship called Vilnius from Ukraine's port of Chornomorsk, said the statement.

He visited the regions of Adjara, Guria, and Samegrelo before arriving in the capital, Tbilisi, it added.

Additionally, Saakashvili, who had an arrest warrant, was detained Oct. 1 at a house in Tbilisi by security forces.

Four people were also detained on grounds they helped Saakashvili enter illegally.

He will reportedly be formally charged by the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office for his illegal entry.

Saakashvili, who spent the last eight years abroad because of the warrant, announced in late September on Facebook that he had returned to Batumi on Georgia's Black Sea coast.

His return came one day before elections were to be held and he urged the public to go to the polls and "protect" their votes by gathering in the center of Tbilisi in early October.

Saakashvili went to the US in 2013 after his presidential term ended, with then-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko granting him Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015.

He was appointed governor of Odessa but resigned in 2016.

Saakashvili has been the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Reform of Ukraine since 2020.

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