11:41 13.02.2018

Ukraine to continue Saakashvili probes

Ukraine to continue Saakashvili probes

The criminal investigations opened by the Ukrainian authorities against former Georgian President and Movement of New Forces leader Mikheil Saakashvili will continue following his deportation to Poland, Larysa Sarhan, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian prosecutor general, said.

"The criminal cases will not be closed. The investigations will continue," Sarhan told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has mechanisms enabling it to "investigate, collect evidence, and ensure Saakashvili's right to defense through international assistance," she said.

Saakashvili was detained in Kyiv on February 12 and deported to Poland.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said in December 2017 that Saakashvili had received $500,000 to finance his activities from businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, who is hiding in Russia. To uphold his claim, Lutsenko published an audio recording. Saakashvili said he was not acquainted with Kurchenko.

In late January 2018, Lutsenko confirmed reports that an analysis had confirmed the identities of the speakers in the recorded telephone conversations between Saakashvili and Kurchenko.

Saakashvili is suspected of conspiracy to commit a crime, the commission of a crime by a group of people acting in collusion or by a criminal organization, and complicity with members of criminal organizations and concealment of their criminal activities.

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