TBILISI, DFWatch – The wife of opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili is suing Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, after he wrongfully revoked her citizenship.
Saakashvili revoked Ekaterine Khvedelidze’s Georgian citizenship last October, at a time when her husband had just declared that he would challenge the president’s power in the country. Revoking the couple’s citizenship temporarily blocked their ascent to power, because a non-Georgian is not allowed to engage in politics according to Georgian legislation.
But a court in Tbilisi ruled that Saakashvili had acted unlawfully when it came to Khvedelidze, and the president later decided not to appeal the ruling. Khvedelidze is now a Georgian citizen.
But Alexandre Baramidze, Khvedelidze’s lawyer, says that she suffered moral damage by this, she suffered mentally and it is fair that she is demanding compensation for this.
Baramidze says that the money amount is not significant, but it is about the principle that the court recognizes the moral damage she has suffered.
The official reason for revoking the couple’s citizenship was that they became citizens of a foreign country after they becoming Georgian citizens. In the case of Ekaterine Khvedelidze, this was wrong. She didn’t obtain another citizenship after becoming Georgian citizen.
In regards to Ivanishvili’s citizenship, the court upheld Saakashvili’s decision. He is therefore still barred from politics, but his wife may do so, and has said she will head the party, which will officially be established in the near future, together with the Ivanishvili’s political partners, the Free Democrats, the Republicans, National Forum and several individual politicians, to form a coalition.