Chief Prosecutor says Ukraine's constitution hinders Saakashvili's extradition

Marsha Scott
July 28, 2017

He accused President Poroshenko of Ukraine of crossing a red line.

In reference to Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president who was ousted after bloody clashes between police and protesters in 2014, he added: "Now, doubtless, you [Mr Poroshenko], as was the case with your predecessor, will be tempted to try and hold on to power at any price. You..." Ironically, Poroshenko praised his corruption-fighting record in Georgia when he appointed Saakashvili to head the Odessa region in 2015. In a Facebook post, Medvedev highlighted the way Poroshenko first granted, and then took away the Ukrainian citizenship to Saakashvili, eventually "agreeing to his extradition to Georgia".

Although Poroshenko gave no explanation for the decision, Leshchenko said it was created to force Saakashvili "to take an asylum in America and forget about Ukrainian politics". Saakashvili wrote on his Facebook page. At the same time he was also granted Ukrainian citizenship. His popularity declined in his later years in office, in part because of a five-day war with Russian Federation during which Moscow's forces drove deep into the South Caucasus country, and his long-ruling party was voted out of power in a 2012 parliamentary election. According to the Ukrainian state migration service, the reason for the move was Saakashvili's failure to reveal a criminal investigation against him in Georgia. Georgia is seeking the ex-leader's extradition to face charges connected to the violent dispersal of protests and a raid on a private television station.

He blamed his former university friend Poroshenko of betrayal, accusing his government of corruption and sabotaging crucial reforms in Ukraine.

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"Every day that I have had a Ukrainian.passport I have worked so that Ukraine could win and become a real European country", he said.

Earlier, MP Ihor Mosiychuk of the Radical Party faction, citing his own sources, said that Saakashvili had been deprived of Ukrainian citizenship. "I love Ukraine with all my heart and I will continue fighting here, in our Ukraine, no matter what!". It supported the motion lodged by Ukraine's State Migration Service, which provided convincing evidence of submitting false information while filing an application for citizenship by Saakashvili.

"Saakashvili will be forced to seek refuge in America and forget about American politics", Leshchenko said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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