Quantcast
Connect with us

Georgian president accused of using state funds for botox treatments

Published

on

Georgian prosecutors said Friday they were probing the alleged misuse of state funds, as accusations surfaced that President Mikheil Saakashvili had spent thousands of dollars of government money on botox treatments in the United States.

“A large-scale investigation has been launched over the misuse of the state budget,” prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Khatuna Paichadze said in televised comments, without revealing details of the subject of the inquiry.

“The prosecutor’s office has the right to question any person that might have been involved and this could be the president of Georgia,” Paichadze added.

According to alleged expense documents aired by anti-Saakashvili broadcaster Imedi on Friday, the president splashed out more than $11,000 (8500 euro) in government money on cosmetic procedures while visiting New York in 2009 and 2011.

The documents also purported to show that Saakashvili spent around $9,000 of state money in the United Kingdom on a naked portrait of an unspecified US actress.

Givi Targamadze, a lawmaker from Saakashvili’s United National Movement party, questioned the authenticity of the documents and recalled the “embarrassment” caused earlier this year by similar claims — later discredited — that the president spent state funds on a sauna with former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko.

ADVERTISEMENT

The latest allegations come amid a slew of investigations into top allies of the increasingly embattled Saakashvili, whose UNM party lost to a coalition headed by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili in October parliamentary elections.

Saakashvili, who must step down when his second term as president expires in October, has accused Ivanishvili, now prime minister, of conducting a politically motivated witch hunt against him and his supporters.

Last week, authorities arrested former prime minister Vano Merabishvili — one of Saakashvili’s closest allies — on graft and abuse of power charges.

Merabishvili — currently in jail awaiting trial — denies all the charges, including allegations that he used a government employment scheme to funnel money to UNM members.

ADVERTISEMENT

After taking power in the 2003 Rose Revolution that ousted the former Soviet elite, Saakashvili led Georgia on a strongly pro-Western course aiming for NATO membership that antagonised Moscow.

However his influence has fallen drastically since losing the parliamentary elections, and he appears increasingly like a lame duck ahead of his inevitable departure later this year.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Chuck Todd’s terrible interview with fabricator-in-chief Trump snapped the tether: From here on out there’s no truth

Published

on

Nothing will ever be the same again. Donald Trump’s unwavering disregard for reality and his acts of violence against the truth are rapidly metastasizing into the marrow of the national debate. I'm not sure we have enough heroes in this country to successfully extricate Trumpism and toss it into the biohazard waste bin of history, along other embarrassments in America's mixed record.

The very fabric of right and wrong in America is disintegrating as one of our two major parties, with some crucial help from Russia, has convinced four out of every 10 voters that verifiable truth is nothing more than a fake news plot against them and their beloved Fifth Avenue Clampetts. As a result, half of the political debate, from the local level on up, is built exclusively on wrongness — on total nonsense, invented by Trump himself along with his propaganda cable network.

Continue Reading

Commentary

New York’s legislature gives landlords a lesson in democracy

Published

on

The knockout punch that the New York State Legislature just landed fighting landlords over spiraling rents ought to be attracting wider attention.

Just as with healthcare access or prescription drug prices, the cost of rent increases that mostly benefit big apartment owners is a challenge to the income-gap society that are at the heart of the national political debate. Every urban center in the country is having housing problems, and rents, like mortgages, are a subject at every kitchen table.

For once, the New York Legislature, whose Democrats overcame internecine divisions this session, has abolished rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, and closed loopholes that have permitted landlords to raise rents. And the changes for better tenant protection were made permanent, eliminating the recurring drama over these issues.

Continue Reading
 

DC Report

Trump’s EPA wants minimal limits on poison in drinking water

Published

on

The Trump EPA calculated recommended limits of a dangerous chemical sometimes found in drinking water that can harm babies’ brain development that were more than 9 times higher than those imposed by a few states by fudging a key number in the calculation.

The Trump recommended a limit for perchlorate, which can harm infant brain development, of 56 micrograms per liter, far above the limit of 6 that California imposed and 2 that Massachusetts set, more than a decade ago.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.
close-link