Ukrainian woman charged with trafficking not allowed back in Georgia after release

Ukrainian citizen Yulia Suslyak says that she planned to hold a press conference in Tbilisi to speak about the details of her detention in Georgia., 22 Jul 2019 - 12:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ukrainian citizen Yulia Suslyak, who was charged with trafficking in Georgia in April 2019 and was released on July 19, was not allowed to enter Georgia yesterday.

The Georgian Interior Ministry says that Suslyak failed to present mandatory documentation - travel insurance, refused to provide a reason for crossing the border and had insufficient money for her travels. 

The ministry said that Suslyak was trying to enter Georgia from Azerbaijan.

Suslyak’s lawyer Zurab Todua says that Suslyak’s right to free movement was violated and the decision of the Interior Ministry will be appealed.

Todua said late yesterday that Suslyak “was abducted from a train in Gardabani municipality of Georgia on July 20 and when the information was leaked to the media she was sent to Azerbaijan [from where she tried to re-enter Georgia again on July 21].” These allegations have been dismissed by Georgian officials. 

Todua says that Suslyak intended to hold a press conference in Tbilisi today “to speak about the violations she suffered while in detention in Georgia.”

On June 7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sent a plane to Georgia to have the ten children returned to Ukraine. Photo: 1TV.

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office said on July 19 that they requested necessary materials from Ukraine to investigate the case.

We have not received the materials for several weeks,” the Prosecutor’s Office said and sent the case materials it had to Ukraine for the country to study the case. 

Following this Suslyak was released and was allowed to leave for Ukraine.

She could travel to Ukraine to see her children. However, as we have the information she left for Azerbaijan instead,” the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office said.

Suslyak says that people who did not allow her into Georgia said that “she is a threat to Georgian security.”

Suslyak arrived in Georgia with ten children on April 8 and was arrested later on April 25 for child trafficking, for which she would have served 14 to 17 years in prison if convicted. 

Police reported that the woman came to Georgia from Russia and planned to move to the occupied territory of Abkhazia with the children she was accompanying. 

Police found documents for the ten children which all gave their surnames as hers. Police suspected child trafficking because four of the children were born in 2017. 

Later, police discovered that four of the children belonged to Yulia while the other six belonged to her husband Yuri Suslyak [they were born via surrogate mothers].

Afterwards, on June 7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sent a plane to Georgia to have the ten children returned to Ukraine