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Saakashvili Rules Out Georgia Return

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says he will not risk arrest by returning to Georgia to face questioning in several criminal probes.
Georgia's former President Mikheil Saakashvili says he will not return home to be questioned over the death of his prime minister in 2005 and other cases.

Speaking on Georgian Rustavi 2 television on March 23 from the Netherlands, Saakashvili said he would not obey the summons to appear on March 27 for questioning.

Saakashvili left Georgia shortly after his second term ended in November.

If Saakashvili doesn't appear, the new Georgian government said he would be placed on a wanted list.

Prosecutors have filed charges against several of Saakashvili's allies.

His supporters see the criminal cases as political revenge.

The U.S. State Department on March 23 expressed its concerns about the case.

In a statement, Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the Georgian government's actions "raises legitimate concerns about political retribution."

Based on reoirting by dpa and AP