15:25 15.12.2017

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry not conducting talks on possible extradition of Saakashvili to Georgia

2 min read
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry not conducting talks on possible extradition of Saakashvili to Georgia

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry is not taking part in any negotiation process about the possible extradition of former Georgia president and Movement of New Forces Party head Mikheil Saakashvili to Georgia, Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bodnar has said.

"The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine is not conducting such negotiations. Period. Georgia is in my remit, but there have been no lines of communication on this issue," Bodnar said on Friday in Kyiv during a briefing.

As earlier reported in July 2017, Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili, who was abroad at that time, of his Ukrainian citizenship.

Saakashvili was detained on December 5, 2017 at his apartment in Kyiv. He was "released" from the police van and subsequently put on the wanted list.

Head of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) Yuriy Lutsenko said Saakashvili was suspected of receiving $500,000 from disgraced Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, a crony of Ukraine's fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych. The PGO released snippets of audio recordings with voices purported to belong to Kurchenko and Saakashvili to back up the claims.

On December 8, 2017 police re-arrested Saakashvili pursuant to Part 2 of Article 256 of Ukraine's Criminal Code (assistance to participants of criminal organizations and concealment of their criminal activity), which envisages from five to ten years of imprisonment.

Saakashvili is placed in temporary detention facility of the Security Service of Ukraine in Kyiv. He announced an indefinite hunger strike.

On December 11, Kyiv's Pechersky District Court released Saakashvili at a hearing to determine pretrial confinement. Judge Larysa Tsokol said the PGO could appeal the ruling within five days.

Lutsenko said the PGO would appeal the ruling.

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