Ukraine not to extradite Saakashvili on Georgia's request
Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko has denied recent media information that Ukraine is allegedly preparing to extradite former head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili to the Georgian side.
Responding to the Interfax-Ukraine's question whether the information is true, the prosecutor general said: "No, this is not true. Ukraine does not extradite its citizens."
Ukrayinska Pravda earlier reported, citing a source close to the presidential administration, that Ukraine may extradite Saakashvili to Georgia, where a criminal case has been opened against him. The source told the publication Saakashvili cannot be stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship and therefore his extradition at the request of Georgia is under consideration.
A different source in the presidential administration said Saakashvili and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had a 'non-attack' agreement before the elections in Georgia.
Item 1 of Article 10 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code provides that citizens of Ukraine and stateless persons who live permanently in Ukraine and who have committed a crime outside Ukraine cannot be extradited to a foreign state to be prosecuted and handed over to a court.
On November 7, 2016, Saakashvili said he was leaving the post of head of the Odesa regional administration because he was tired of constant deceit and corruption, including on the part of the Kyiv authorities. On November 9, the Ukrainian Cabinet approved Saakashvili's dismissal from the post, which was then signed by the president.
Poroshenko granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship in late May 2015. Saakashvili says he now only has Ukrainian citizenship.
Saakashvili was Georgia's third president from 2004-2013.
Parliamentary elections, in which the party United National Movement led by Saakashvili took part, were held in Georgia on October 8. Several criminal cases have been opened against Saakashvili in Georgia.