Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has issued a decree to annul the Ukrainian citizenship of the former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili. This means that Saakashvili will no longer be a Ukrainian citizen.
Per the official information, Saakashvili has violated the law by hiding the fact that he has been wanted in Georgia.
During his visit to Georgia last week, President Poroshenko said he did not know that Georgia had already twice requested the extradition of its former president. He further said the extradition of Saakashvili, who faces several charges in Georgia, depends on the request from Georgia’s Government.
Saakashvili, who served as Georgia’s third president from 2004-2007 and again from 2008-2013, is accused of:
- violent dispersal of anti-government mass protests on November 7, 2007;
- unlawful raiding of Imedi television company by riot police
- illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili.
In 2014 Saakashvili was officially charged in Georgia; however, by the time his case went through court he was already in Ukraine.
On May 30, 2015 Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili as head of Ukraine’s Odessa region. At the same time he was also granted Ukrainian citizenship.
Receiving Ukrainian citizenship meant Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship was automatically revoked, as Georgian legislation prohibits people from holding dual citizenship, except for in exceptional circumstances.
Saakashvili is no longer a Georgian citizen and if he returns to Georgia he will face a court of law.