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Georgian Court Upholds Sentence Against Ex-President Saakashvili

Former Georgian President and Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili speaks in the Netherlands on May 29, 2018.

A Georgian appeals court has upheld a ruling which sentenced former President Mikheil Saakashvili to prison for abuse of power over a 2005 incident.

The Tbilisi City Court had sentenced Saakashvili in absentia in July to six years in prison on charges of ordering members of his special forces to beat up lawmaker Valery Gelashvili in central Tbilisi in 2005.

The court of appeals on November 22 upheld the ruling but rejected the prosecutors' request to toughen the sentence, prosecutor Archil Tkeshelashvili told reporters on November 22.

The court found that Saakashvili, who was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013, ordered the attack in retaliation for Gelashvili's public criticism of him in 2005. Gelashvili had accuxsed Saakashvili, among other things, of misappropriating property.

In January, Saakahsvili was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison after being convicted of trying to cover up evidence about the 2006 killing of Georgian banker Sandro Girgvliani.

The former president, who now lives in the Netherlands, has rejected all the charges, calling them politically motivated.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax