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Ukraine presses charges against Saakashvili for resisting police while breaching border

September 11, 2017, 16:50 UTC+3 KIEV

On Sunday evening, Mikhail Saakashvili and his supporters broke through a police cordon at the Polish-Ukrainian border to cross into Ukraine

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KIEV, September 11. /TASS/. Police in western Ukraine’s Lvov region have filed new criminal charges against Georgian ex-president and former Odessa Region’s governor Mikhail Saakashvili, who illegally crossed into Ukraine from Poland.

"Now a criminal proceeding as part of Article 342.2 (resistance to police) of Ukraine’s Criminal Code has been launched," local police chief Valery Sereda said, according to the press service.

Saakashvili earlier claimed that Ukrainian police stole his passport shortly after he had crossed the border. "When we got on a bus (after breaking through a police cordon) the police came and stole my passport…The passport was in a bag, and they searched the bus and then there was no passport," he told reporters.

On Sunday evening, Saakashvili and his supporters broke through a police cordon at the Shegeni checkpoint at the Polish-Ukrainian border to cross into Ukraine. According to the State Border Guard Service, 12 National Police fighters and 10 border guards sustained bodily injuries. The border guard service added that a request would be filed with Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General’s Office over state border violation.

Earlier, Polish border guards let Saakashvili out of the country but warned him about possible problems with the Ukrainian authorities.

The former Georgian president, who was charged with several crimes, was granted Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015, which resulted in his Georgian citizenship being revoked. Saakashvili served as Ukraine’s Odessa Region Governor but in November 2016 he stepped down and set up his own party and began criticizing the authorities. On July 26, 2017, while Saakashvili was in the United States, Poroshenko stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship.

Police in Lvov, where Saakashvili arrived to meet with his party’s supporters, have already launched criminal proceedings into the illegal crossing of the border. This crime is punishable by up to five years behind bars

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