Akerman, a US law firm, is lobbying US government officials in an attempt to free former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is currently imprisoned in Georgia. Massimo D’Angelo, a New York partner at the Miami-based law firm, has been working on Saakashvili’s case since July and is part of a diplomatic push to secure his release. This push also involves speaking to government officials in the US and Europe about measures to hold Georgian officials accountable for Saakashvili’s imprisonment, including through economic penalties, sanctions, and the suspension of foreign aid.
Saakashvili led the former Soviet republic as a pro-Western reformer from 2004 to 2013. He is serving a six-year sentence for abuse of power, a charge he and his supporters say was politically motivated. He has also served in multiple Ukrainian governments under President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Saakashvili was convicted without participating in his trial and was arrested and imprisoned in 2021 when he returned to Georgia.
His legal team alleges that he was poisoned while in prison and plans to appeal a recent decision denying Saakashvili’s release to the European Court of Human Rights. However, Georgian authorities claim that Saakashvili is overstating the seriousness of his condition and that he is receiving proper care at a clinic in Tbilisi.
Akerman’s efforts to secure Saakashvili’s release will include engaging with foreign diplomats and US officials to gain support for their client and to secure his release on humanitarian grounds. D’Angelo also worked on an amicus brief filed with the Georgian court that denied Saakashvili’s bid to be released. The brief featured the opinions of US medical experts on the former president’s health.
D’Angelo traveled to the Georgian clinic where Saakashvili was being held to obtain samples for medical tests conducted in the United States and then analyzed by experts. He believes that if Saakashvili dies in prison, it will cause an actual rupture in Georgia’s political position in the West.
The push for Saakashvili’s release is significant not only for the former president and his supporters but also for the future of Georgian politics. If Saakashvili’s imprisonment is deemed unjust by the international community, it could have significant consequences for the Georgian government and its relationship with the West.
The role of the US law firm in this diplomatic effort is a prime example of how law firms can play a major role in international political affairs. By leveraging their resources and expertise, law firms can help bring attention to important issues and work towards positive outcomes for their clients.
In this case, Akerman is using its lobbying power to bring attention to a former world leader who they believe has been unjustly imprisoned. By doing so, they hope to secure his release and ensure justice is served.
Regardless of the outcome, this case highlights the significance of law firms in shaping international politics and their role in working towards positive outcomes for their clients and the international community as a whole.
U.S. law firm for Georgia’s Saakashvili expands lobbying push