Saakashvili detained during inspection of places frequented by illegal migrants
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has revealed details of the detention of former Georgian President and leader of New Forces Movement Mikheil Saakashvili.
"The stateless person, Saakashvili, was found in a public catering outlet in the course of interagency inspections. He was wanted by the State Migration Service, and Poland agreed to his readmission," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
The territorial branch of the State Migration Service declined Saakashvili's request for recognition as a refugee or a person needing additional protection, and its decision was upheld by the court, the ministry said. Hence, Saakashvili has lost legal grounds for further presence in Ukraine, it said.
"Saakashvili was handed over to Poland consistent with the bilateral readmission agreement," the ministry said.
On September 22, 2017, the Mostyska District Court in Lviv region found Saakashvili guilty of illegally crossing into Ukraine, the ministry said.
On January 3, 2018, the Kyiv District Administrative Court dismissed Saakashvili's claim against the Kyiv regional department of the State Migration Service, which refused to give him the status of a person needing additional protection.
The Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the ruling on February 5, and Saakashvili's defense appealed the decision with the Administrative Court of Cassation on February 6. Lawyer Ruslan Chornolutsky said there were no grounds to extradite or deport Saakashvili from Ukraine until the proceedings regarding his status were over.
The Ukrainian Supreme Court will continue hearing Saakashvili's claim against Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the format of the Administrative Court of Cassation on February 16. Saakashvili believes that Poroshenko's decision to deprive him of Ukrainian citizenship in summer 2017 was illegal.
Saakashvili was detained at the Suluguni restaurant in the center of Kyiv, not far from the New Forces Moovement headquarters, on February 12 and put on a plane to Poland.
The Interior Ministry believes that earlier court rulings made Saakashvili's presence in the Ukrainian territory illegal and says "he has been returned to the country, where he arrived from in violation of the local laws, consistent with every judicial formality in place."