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Georgia re-addresses Ukraine to extradite Saakashvili

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 21
Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office re-addressed Ukraine to extradite Georgia’s third president, Mikheil Saakashvili, to Georgia after he announced that he planned to come back to Ukraine despite the fact his Ukrainian citizenship had been revoked.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office appealed to Ukraine to extradite Saakashvili - who faces four charges in Georgia - for the third time, Radio Liberty reports.

The Prosecutor’s Office made the statement after Saakashvili announced that he planned to return to the Lviv region of Ukraine via Poland on September 10.

Saakashvili vows to be actively involved in Ukraine’s politics despite the fact that the country deprived him of its citizenship on July 26, shortly after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had visited Georgia.

Ukraine made the decision only after Saakashvili went into opposition.

Saakashvili was the third president of Georgia in 2004-2007 and again from 2008-2013. In 2012, Saakashvili’s United National Movement party lost the parliamentary elections against the Georgian Dream (GD) Coalition and became the main opposition faction.

He was charged on several cases in Georgia in 2014, but by the time his case went through to court he was already in Ukraine.

Saakashvili is accused of the violent dispersal of anti-government mass protests on November 7, 2007; the unlawful raiding of the Imedi television company by riot police; and the illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili, and for the alleged beating of a lawmaker.

Poroshenko granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015, when appointing him as the Governor of Odessa.

In December 2015, Georgian authorities stripped Saakashvili of his Georgian citizenship, as dual citizenship is not allowed in Georgia.

In November 2016, Saakashvili quit his post and formed an opposition party and heavily criticized the Ukrainian authorities, which led to a disagreement between Poroshenko and the former Georgian President.

Now that Saakashvili is without citizenship, if he returns to Ukraine he will be deported to Georgia and arrested.

He denies all the allegations and claims they are politically motivated.