10:03 26.02.2018

Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office requests Netherlands to collect voice samples from Saakashvili

3 min read
Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office requests Netherlands to collect voice samples from Saakashvili

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has sent a request to Dutch law enforcement agencies to collect voice samples from Mikheil Saakashvili, the Movement of New Forces leader and former Georgian president, for a criminal investigation in Ukraine.

"Several days ago, we sent an international legal mandate to the Netherlands requesting that the Dutch authorities collect voice samples from Saakashvili," Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Yevhen Yenin told Interfax-Ukraine in an interview.

According to the request, the Dutch side would do it independently, Yenin said.

"Yes, certainly, it's his right. And if he refuses, it will once again dispel Saakashvili's myth that he is ready to cooperate with law enforcement agencies," he said, when asked whether it means that Saakashvili could provide his voice samples only voluntarily.

As reported, in July 2017, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of Ukrainian citizenship while the latter was in the United States. In September, Saakashvili, surrounded by his supporters, crossed from Poland into Ukraine, breaking across the border.

On December 5, 2017, Saakashvili was detained in Kyiv, but his supporters blocked law enforcers' car and released him from it. The politician was declared wanted.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said that Saakashvili had received $0.5 million for his activities in Ukraine from businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, who is currently hiding in Russia, and presented an audio recording in support of his claim. Saakashvili said he is not acquainted with Kurchenko. Saakashvili's associate David Sakvarelidze said that the published recordings had been doctored and he was planning to submit them for an expert evaluation abroad.

Saakashvili was detained the second time late in the evening on Friday, December 8. He was charged with aiding and abetting members of criminal groups and concealing their criminal activities and is facing from five to ten years of imprisonment. Following his detention he was brought to a remand prison of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) in Kyiv, where he went on a hunger strike.

On December 11, Kyiv's Pechersky District Court dismissed the prosecution's motion to impose a restrictive measure in the form of house arrest on Saakashvili for the investigation period. He was released from courtroom.

On February 12, 2018, Saakashvili was detained in Kyiv and sent back to Poland in line with the readmission procedure.

It was subsequently reported that Saakashvili had arrived in the Netherlands, where his family resides, from Warsaw. "Next I will be moving all over Europe and doing politics," Saakashvili said.

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