Ukrainian Politics

 Ukraine’s top prosecutor vows to punish those who helped Saakashvili enter country last September regardless of their status

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko says that if evidence found that certain MPs assisted Rukh Novykh Syl party leader Mikheil Saakashvili to illegally enter the country by crossing the state border in September 2017, he will request the parliament to strip them of immunity.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Interfax-Ukraine, Lutsenko said in an interview with LB.UA.

"If the investigators find sufficient evidence to serve charges, which is impossible to do without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada, I will certainly do it," said the prosecutor general commenting on a possible stripping of immunity those MPs who helped Saakashvili enter Ukraine.

He also voiced names of the allegedly involved lawmakers: Yurii Derevianko, Svitlana Zalishchuk, Mustafa Nayyem, and Yulia Tymoshenko.

"The case files on Sakvarelidze (Saakashvili’s associate and one of the leaders of the Rukh Novykh Syl party, Davit Sakvarelidze) are being drafted or have already been submitted to the court. I’m totally convinced that all those involved in an unlawful breakthrough will hold accountable regardless of who they are and what parliamentary faction they belong to," Lutsenko stressed.

According to him, it will take up to six months to complete the investigation.

Speaking about Saakashvili’s readmission to Poland, the prosecutor general noted that he learned about the detention of the politician in a Kyiv-based restaurant from his press secretary.

"The law gives us no authority to apply any measure against him - neither a measure of restraint nor any other. He was an irregular migrant. No measure of restraint was imposed on him. He did not impede investigation against him. I see no grounds why he shouldn’t have been deported back then," the law enforcer said.

According to Lutsenko, Saakashvili can be again questioned, for example, via Skype.

Saakashvili was detained by operatives of the State Border Guard Service in a restaurant in downtown Kyiv on Feb. 12, 2018 and expelled from Ukraine on the same day.

On Dec. 5, the law enforcers detained Saakashvili on charges of assisting crime ring members. His supporters blocked off the paddy wagon with the detained politician inside and later released him. During the search in Saakashvili's apartment, he went up to the roof of the house and was apprehended by the law enforcers there. 

Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko later said that runaway oligarch Serhii Kurchenko funded Saakashvili's activities in Ukraine.

Early Dec. 6, a clash between law enforcers and supporters of the former Odesa region governor took place outside the Ukrainian parliament early Dec. 5 when police tried to storm the tent camp in order to locate and detain Saakashvili.

The police apprehended Saakashvili in Kyiv’s Solomianskyi district late Dec. 8, 2017. He was charged under part 2 of article 256 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (providing assistance to crime ring members and concealment of their criminal activity) punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison.

Being placed in Kyiv-based detention center, the politician went on an indefinite hunger strike.

Saakashvili walked free from the courtroom late Dec. 11, 2017 as the court imposed no pre-trial restriction on him. The PGO later appealed against this ruling.

The politician was placed under night-time house arrest on Jan. 26, 2018.

Even earlier, Saakashvili decided to enter Ukraine from Poland by train on Sept. 10 to avoid turmoil at Krakovets border crossing point. Intercity train from Przemysl to Kyiv was supposed to leave at 1:07 p.m. yesterday but was delayed for several hours. Some sources reported the train was delayed by law enforcers, but police soon disproved the reports. In its turn, Ukraine's major railway carrier Ukrzaliznytsia explained the delay in schedule by presence of a person on board who had no grounds to enter Ukraine.

Saakashvili subsequently arrived at Shehyni border crossing point where his supporters breached across the Ukrainian border and brought the politician and his delegation onto territory of Ukraine.

On July 26, 2017, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree that deprived former Georgian president of his Ukrainian citizenship.

On Sept. 5, 2017, Deputy Justice Minister for European Integration Serhii Petukhov announced that the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine received a request from the Georgian Prosecutor General's Office to arrest and extradite Saakashvili.

The politician also voiced intention to restore his Ukrainian citizenship.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3052096