Saakashvili on trial Ex-Georgian president seen in public for the first time since arrest and hunger strike

Jailed ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who ended a seven-week hunger strike on November 20, has been seen in public for the first time since his arrest in early October. On Monday, November 29, Saakashvili was brought to the Tbilisi City Court to be put on trial on charges of abuse of power over the violent dispersal of an opposition demonstration in November 2007. Several hundred of Saakashvili’s supporters gathered outside the courthouse on Monday; police allegedly used tear gas to break up the crowd. Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2008 to 2013. He was convicted in absentia on several counts of abuse of power in 2018. Georgian authorities arrested Saakashvili on October 1, after he secretly crossed the border into Georgia, returning to the country for the first time in eight years. There are several other criminal cases against Saakashvili, including one opened in October on charges of illegally crossing Georgia’s state border. Irakli Gedenidze / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA

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