Saakashvili has previously denied any involvement or foreknowledge of the fictitious documentary depicting an invasion of Georgia by Russia, which included a report that the President himself had been killed. The documentary was aired by Imedi TV and it caused widespread panic in the country, drew international condemnation for using clips of various figureheads which were over-dubbed with false transcripts in Georgian.
The airing of the documentary also contributed to the deaths of three people.
Gaioz Odishelidze, an inhabitant of the village of Aragvispiri in the Dusheti district, died of a heart attack whilst watching the programme. According to his son, the man cried out "What the hell's going on?", before grabbing his chest and collapsing. Ambulances were called, but were unable to revive the 50-year old. Vano Nasaridze, a 75-year old refugee from Sukhumi living in Tbilisi, suffered a stroke whilst watching the broadcast. Nasaridze's family took him to a hospital in Tbilisi on 14 March, where he was operated on. However, he only survived for a few days. Nasaridze's family announced their intention to sue Imedi, insisting that the programme was responsible for their patriarch's death. A woman whose son was serving in the army died of a heart attack while watching the program.
After having analyzed the recording of the phone conversation between Giorgi Arveladze and Eka Tsamalashvili, British experts have concluded that the conversation is genuine: “this is a transcript of an actual conversation, possibly with parts omitted, but not demonstrably with any insertions or addition; there is sufficient lexical linking throughout consistent with a single conversation and not a montage from different conversations.”
Turns out Saakashvili knew all about it and actually encouraged the TV station to air in the way they did. Classic control of the media - as he did so effectively during the war with Russia, only this time it's back-fired on him. Better send him some more ties to chew on.