Ex-President Saakashvili Pledges to Tour Ukraine

Former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, Mikheil Saakashvili vows to tour Ukraine starting from the capital Kyiv. He added he is not going to join any political forces.

At present Saakashvili is in Lviv, where he came from Poland after crossing the border with his supporters on September 10, despite the fact that he had been stripped his Ukrainian citizenship by the President Petro Poroshenko in July.

Kyiv Post reports that border guards came to Lviv’s Leopolis hotel on Tuesday, where Saakashvili was staying, to hand him charges concerning an administrative offense – illegal crossing of the border. Such an offense is punishable with a fine or detention of up to 15 days.

Saakashvili denied committing an administrative offense, adding he had legally passed through the Polish checkpoint and was on Ukrainian territory when he was carried by his supporters through the Ukrainian checkpoint, and that is why his arrival in Ukraine cannot be considered as illegal.

The court in Lviv is set to consider the alleged administrative offense on September 18.

Interior Ministry spokesman Artoim Shevchenko said that the State Border Agency gave Saakashvili a protocol on administrative violation on September 12, though it did not have sufficient ground for his detention.

According to the Code of Administrative Offenses, Mikheil Saakashvili faces a fine worth $130-330.

“The Ukrainian Interior Ministry considers that Mikheil Saakashvili is illegally on the territory of Ukraine, but there is not enough ground for his detention,” Shevchenko stated.

However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine said that they identified 32 people but detained five activists who crossed a border along with Saakashvili.

The detainees have been charged with violation of several articles of the criminal law of Ukraine, in particular, a group violation of public order. In addition, they are accused of using violence against government officials. 

Kiyv Post reports that Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said on September 12 that his ministry had started to consider Georgia’s recent extradition request for Saakashvili.

Ex-president faces charges in Georgia into four different cases of alleged embezzlement, abuse of power and abuse of power with the use of force.

Saakashvili was the third president of Georgia in 2004-2007 and again in 2008-2013.

He lost his Georgian citizenship when he received a Ukrainian one in December 2015, and since July 26, when he was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship, Saakashvili is a man without a country.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says Saakashvili is Georgia’s “sad past.”

“Saakashvili is a political past of our country, a very sad past and I am very sorry to see what is now going on. As for the legal side, it is better the relevant institutions made comments on it," Kvirikashvili said.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: Ukraineform

Related article:

Saakashvili “Triumphantly” Returns to Ukraine

Ukraine Deprives Georgia’s Ex-President Saakashvili of Citizenship

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Does Not Exclude Extradition of Saakashvili to Georgia



13 September 2017 10:11