Saturday, 17 April, 2021


Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili deported to Poland

Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili deported to Poland Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili deported to Poland
Bennie Garza | 16 February, 2018, 22:18

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who leads the Movement of New Forces party in Ukraine, has been deported to Poland, Ukrainian authorities confirmed shortly after his detention in Kyiv.

Ukraine's border guard service had earlier said the 50- year-old had resided in Ukraine "illegally" and had therefore been sent back to the country where he initially came from.

Last week, Kiev's Administrative Court of Appeals approved a lower court's decision to reject Saakashvili's application for political asylum, which ruling Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said removed the legal obstacles hampering the former Georgian president's extradition from Ukraine.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

Saakashvili's supporters gathered Monday evening in front of the presidential office to protest his deportation. Lawyer Ruslan Chornolutsky said there were no grounds to extradite or deport Saakashvili from Ukraine until the proceedings regarding his status were over. He had previously been deprived of his Georgian citizenship.

Saakashvili is also wanted in Georgia for multiple charges.

Ukrainian prosecutors accuse Saakashvili of having assisted a criminal organisation; a charge he claims is a politically motivated attempt to undermine his campaign to win the Ukrainian presidency from incumbent Petro Poroshenko.

At the same time, both the Ukrainian prosecution service and the Ukrainian security services (SBU), quoted by global agencies, denied involvement in Saakashvili's detention and said they had "no information about the whereabouts of the former President of Georgia". He failed, however, to attend any of the courses he was charged with overseeing and was dismissed by the university before eventually leaving the United States for Kiev at the height of Ukraine's EuroMaidan Revolution.

He resigned from the post in November 2016 in protest at alleged high-level corruption and became a fierce government critic.

Two months later, Saakashvili entered Ukraine from Poland without showing the necessary documents to the border guards.

Saakashvili's support with average voters and other Ukrainian lawmakers has been limited since he illegally crossed the border.

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