Georgia: Prank Call Leaves Minister in Hot Water, Confirms No One Wants Saakashvili
If you’re a politician, it’s always unpleasant to be publicly pranked. It’s especially unpleasant if you contradict official policy in the course of that prank.
But that’s what happened to Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili earlier this week. He received a call from a man who he believed to be his Ukrainian counterpart, Arsen Avakov, with an unusual offer. "Avakov" told Mgebrishvili that former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is wanted in Georgia on criminal charges, was planning to return to Kyiv. The Ukrainian interior minister offered to hand him over.
Officially, Georgia wants Saakashvili, a charismatic reformer popular in the West, extradited back to Tbilisi. However, Mgebrishvili told his interlocutor that Saakashvili “isn’t f---ing needed.” After speaking with his colleagues, Mgebrishvili later called back to confirm his initial statement.
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