tiblisi - Former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili was convicted in absentia by a Georgian court on Friday to three years in prison for abuse of power.
According to the court, after an assassination attempt in 2006, he pardoned the convicted perpetrators without the intervention of a competent committee. Saakashvili mentioned on his Facebook page the decision of the court 'illegal'.
Saakashvili was president of the former Soviet republic from 2004 to 2013. He lost his Georgian nationality because, after his tenure, he assumed Ukrainian citizenship and went into politics there. Due to a dispute with the Ukrainian government, he is now stateless.
Since the Ukrainian authorities have not given him refugee status to date, Saakashvili now threatens to be extradited to Tbilisi. In three other cases against him in which he is accused of abuse of power and corruption, a decision has yet to be made.
Two weeks ago Saakashvili indicated that he wants to come to the Netherlands in the context of family reunification. According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) and Minister Ferd Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, Saakashvili qualifies for this because he is married to the Dutch Sandra Roelofs.