The messenger logo

Ukraine refuses to extradite former Georgian officials

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 19
Ukraine refused to meet the appeal of Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office to extradite Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili and ex-Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili to Georgia.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office claims that the relevant bodies of Ukraine were obliged to assist Georgia’s law-enforcement bodies based on the Minsk Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in the civil, family and criminal matters of the 1993 and bilateral agreement signed between Georgia and Ukraine in 1995.

Based on the international treaties, the parties should review and then extradite the wanted individuals to the requesting country in accordance with the provisions of the agreements.

“Since charges have been filed against Mikheil Saakashvili and Zurab Adeishvili, they are wanted in Georgia, and Adeishvili is further wanted by Interpol. According to the information obtained, both of the former officials are in Ukraine. The office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia has filed petitions at the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine on the identification, detention and extradition of the individuals.”

“The Ukrainian side has failed to cooperate with us. They refused to extradite the individuals,” the Chief Prosecutor’s Office said.

Saakashvili, who was charged in Georgia in absentia for abuse of official authority, appointed to the position of aid to the Ukrainian president last week to help the country on its path to reform.

Similarly Adeishvili, who was also charged in Georgia in absentia for abuse of power with the use of violence, inhumane treatment, provoking a crime and fabricating evidence, was said to be in Ukraine and had participated in consultations about the ways the country can fight corruption.

Saakashvili and United National Movement officials confirm Adeishvili’s participation in the Ukrainian reforms. In his recent interview with Rustavi 2, Saakashvili stressed that his and Adeishvili’s experience was used by the current Ukrainian leaders. He stressed that the Ukrainian President had offered him jobs several times.

“Poroshenko told me that he had a strange conversation with Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. He has tried to use rumors and persuade him as if I committed crimes while being in office,” Saakashvili said, and criticized the current Georgian authorities for their statements and actions with regard to Ukraine’s conflict.

There was speculation in Georgia that the appointment of former Georgian officials to positions in Ukraine would damage Georgian-Ukrainian relations and hinder official visits between the countries’ leaderships.

It still remains unclear whether Georgia’s PM will leave for Ukraine or not. However, Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili states that the ministry is preparing high level visits to Ukraine. She informed that the staff of the Georgian delegation will become known in the coming days.