5 Dec 2017 17:23

Saakashvili's lawyer in Georgia does not rule out his extradition from Ukraine

TBILISI. Dec 5 (Interfax) - The detention of former Georgian President and former head of the Odesa regional administration Mikheil Saakashvili in Kyiv violates Ukrainian law, lawyer Beka Basilia, who defends Saakashvili's legal interests in Georgia, said to journalists on Saturday.

"The actions of Ukrainian authorities are so unlawful that they may well extradite Saakashvili to Georgia, where several judicial proceedings are underway against him," Basilia said.

Courts are now hastily hearing cases in which Saakashvili is charged with abuse of office, Basilia said. One of the cases concerns the pardon that Saakashvili granted to four policemen convicted of killing bank employee Sandro Girgvilani, he said.

"The prosecution said openly that a sentence in this case will be handed down before the end of December. The processes in Ukraine suspiciously coincide with this judicial hearing against Saakashvili in Georgia," he said.

Eka Beselia, the head of the Legal Committee at the Georgian parliament, told journalists Saakashvili could possibly be extradited to Georgia as part of bilateral inter-state cooperation.

"As far as I know, the request for Saakashvili's extradition was sent to Ukraine by both the Justice Ministry and the state prosecutors. A Georgian court had earlier resolved in a case against him that he must be detained and put under pretrial arrest if he appears in Georgian territory," Beselia said.

Ukrainian Security Service and Prosecutor General's Office officials detained Saakashvili in Kyiv earlier on Tuesday on suspicion of aiding and abetting members of criminal organizations and covering up their criminal activities.