Saakashvili, who resigned his presidential office in 2013 after almost a decade in power, is wanted at home on allegations of embezzlement and abuse of power. He was appointed a governor in Ukraine after a violent armed coup ousted its president in February 2014, an event that Saakashvili supported and praised.
The website called “Ukrainian revolution” has published a tape implicating Saakashvili in orchestrating a similar uprising in Georgia. In the conversations, which have not been independently verified, a man with a voice strongly resembling Georgia’s ex-leader is heard to be advising such a course to Nika Gvaramia, the head of Rustavi 2, one of Georgia’s biggest TV stations, and opposition leader Georgy Bokeria.
Rustavi 2 is currently in the middle of an ownership conflict. Opposition parties accuse the Georgian government of being behind it because the channel gives a lot of airtime to criticism of the country’s leadership. Some Georgian officials said Rustavi 2 is not a media outlet but a propaganda vehicle for the United National Movement, Saakashvili’s former party, to which Bokeriya belongs.