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Saakashvili Charged With Abuse Of Office In Murder Case

Georgian prosecutors have charged former President Mikheil Saakashvili with complicity in the 2006 murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani.

Girgvliani, the head of the United Georgian Bank's Foreign Department, was found dead in January 2006 outside Tbilisi with multiple injuries after he had an argument with a group of high-ranking Interior Ministry officials in a bar.

Girgvliani's killing and the officials' unwillingness to investigate it generated heavy criticism of Saakashvili's government at the time.

Prosecutors said in a November 27 statement that Saakashvili was an accomplice in the falsification of evidence in the case, along with Vano Merabishvili, who was then the interior minister, and other officials.

Merabishvili, a political ally of Saakahsvili was sentenced last month to three years in prison in connection with Girgvliani's killing.

Saakashvili was earlier charged in several other criminal cases. He lives in a self-imposed exile in the United States.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS