Court partly grants Saakashvili's request to challenge judicial panel in case of his status in Ukraine
Kyiv's Administrative Court of Appeal has partially granted the request of New Forces Movement party leader, ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili to challenge the panel of judges, which considers granting him the status of a person in need of additional protection after the deprivation of Ukrainian citizenship.
After leaving the jury room, the court announced the decision that the issue of the challenge will be handed over, according to the procedure, to another panel of judges of the Kyiv's Administrative Court of Appeal, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported.
At the same time, the presiding judge noted that in the consideration of the issue on the status of Saakashvili, a break was announced until 10:00 on February 5.
Saakashvili's lawyer, Ruslan Chornolutsky, after the meeting was concluded, told reporters that the defense party wanted to receive documents that would explain how two of the three judges were replaced on the eve of the court session. According to Saakashvili and his lawyers, this may indicate illegal interference in the work of the automated system of distribution of cases.
As earlier reported, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during the summer of 2017 stripped Saakashvili of Ukrainian citizenship. Saakashvili nonetheless returned to Ukraine and organized several anti-government protests.
On January 3, 2018, Kyiv District Administrative Court dismissed an appeal by Mikheil Saakashvili, the leader of the Movement of New Forces Party, the former president of Georgia, to recognize as unlawful the decision of the State Migration Service's branch in Kyiv region, which denied him a status of a refugee or a person who needs additional protection after the deprivation of citizenship of Ukraine.
On January 5, Tbilisi City Court found Saakashvili guilty in the case on "malicious abuse of power" as Georgian president and sentenced him to three years in prison. Saakashvili believes that the Ukrainian authorities deliberately speed up the consideration of the issue of his status in Ukraine in order to have formal grounds for his extradition from the country.