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Saakashvili says preparations underway for his extradition to Georgia

The former Georgian president, who is now leading the Ruh Novykh Sil (Movement of New Forces) party in Ukraine, is accused of several crimes in his homeland

KIEV, October 28. /TASS/. Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office drafts documents on detention of former Georgian President, former Ukraine’s Odessa Governor Mikhail Saakashvili and his extradition to Georgia, Saakashvili wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.

The flamboyant politician, who is now leading the Ruh Novykh Sil (Movement of New Forces) party, is accused of several crimes in his homeland, Georgia.

"In recent days, Prosecutor General [Yuri] Lutsenko has launched a process of drawing up documents for my arrest and extradition to Georgia over activities during my presidency," Saakashvili wrote.

On October 24, Lutsenko said that the Ukrainian State Migration Service had denied Saakashvili an asylum seeker status and as a result, "there are no specific circumstances" which could make his deportation or extradition impossible.


Saakashvili case

Saakashvili, whose extradition Georgia is seeking on charges with a number of crimes, received Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015. Later on, he was appointed governor of the Odessa region. After a bumpy governorship that was marked by resounding scandals, he tendered resignation in November 2016, founded a political party of his own and started leveling sharp criticism at the authorities. President Poroshenko revoked his Ukrainian citizenship on July 26, 2017, when the combative Saakashvili was visiting the U.S.

Saakashvili served as Georgia’s President from January 2004 to November 2007, and from January 2008 to mid-November 2013. In November 2013, he left the country two days before his presidential term expired and moved to the United States. In May 2015, Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship, which resulted in his Georgian citizenship being revoked.

In 2014, the Georgian authorities charged the former president with involvement in the massacre of protest participants, illegal seizure of the property of businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili, as well as with impending the investigation into the murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani and embezzling state assets. The trial in Georgia has ordered his arrest in absentia.

In mid-August, the Georgian television channel Imedi released an answer from Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office saying that documents on Saakashvili’s extradition had been submitted to Kiev.