Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili said that he regrets the decision to leave his homeland in 2013, TASS reported.
“I left because I was tired and people were tired of me. I just gave everyone a break. However, today I believe that it was a mistake,” Saakashvili said on Sunday in an interview with the Georgian TV Mtavari Arxi.
Asked to comment on the fact that he would have been imprisoned in Georgia since criminal cases had been instituted against him, Saakashvili noted: “Leaving your country is the worst way out.”
Saakashvili was president of Georgia from January 2004 to November 2013. In 2013, he left the country a few days before the expiration of his presidential term.Four criminal cases were instituted against him, two of which had already passed sentences. In January 2018, a Tbilisi city court sentenced Saakashvili in absentia to three years in prison in the case of the murder in 2006 of a United Bank of Georgia employee Sandro Girgvliani. On June 28, 2018, a court in Tbilisi sentenced Saakashvili in absentia to six years in prison in the case of the beating in 2005 of deputy Valery Gelashvili.
In 2015, Saakashvili was invited by the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to work as the head of the governor of Odessa region. But two years later, he was deprived of Ukrainian citizenship due to a conflict with the authorities of the country. Saakashvili could return to Ukraine only after the victory of Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the presidential election.