The trial of the Georgian ex-President is underway at the Tbilisi City Court on the November 7 episode (November 7, 2007 marks an anti-government rally dispersal by riot police in Tbilisi), although Mikheil Saakashvili does not attend it.
Saakashvili’s lawyer Beka Basilaia said the Special Penitentiary Service rebuffed transferring the ex-President to the courtroom.
“Saakashvili found out about the court request to appear at the trial via TV. Despite his worsened health condition, he could attend the trial, but the Penitentiary Service is silent. Moreover, they do not have the answer to why they did not notify Saakashvili on court request,” Basilaia stressed.
One of the defendants in this episode, former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, demanded the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) be allowed to live broadcast the trial.
Basilaia demands other media outlets be allowed to the trial. “Up to 20 media outlets requested to cover the trial. Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) is covering it but it is unclear why others are restricted.”
Special Penitentiary Service recently issued a statement explaining that they could not take the ex-president to the courtroom due to possible destructive actions that may develop there. It further said Saakashvili’s transfer to the courtroom poses an additional risk to his health as he has halted a substantial part of his treatment.
At the same time, Tbilisi City Court announced today that three people, who helped Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili to enter the country, would remain behind bars. Giorgi Narimanidze, Elguja Tsomaia, Zurab and Shalva Tsotsoria have been accused of covering up a grave crime.