Former Georgian president, former governor of Ukraine's Odessa region and now the leader of the New Forces Movement, Mikhail Saakashvili, will appear on September 18 at a Lvov region court in western Ukraine that will hear the case of his illegal crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border, the movement’s spokeswoman, Maryana Poshtar, said on Sunday.
"On Monday, September 18, the Mostisky district court will hear the case of Mikhail Saakashvili’s illegal crossing of the Ukrainian border. The lawsuit was lodged by the state border service. Mikhail will appear at court without fail," Ukrainform news agency quoted her as saying.
According to Poshtar, Saakashvili spent Sunday in Vinnitsa and before that he visited Chernovtsy, Kherson and Ivano-Frankovsk.
Saakashvili, whose extradition is sought by Georgia on charges of a number of crimes, received Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015. Later on, he was appointed governor of the Odessa region. After a bumpy governorship that was marked by resounding scandals, he tendered resignation in November 2016, founded a political party of his own and started leveling sharp criticism at the authorities. President Poroshenko revoked his Ukrainian citizenship on July 26, 2017, when the combative Saakashvili was visiting the U.S.
On September 10, Saakashvili and his supporters broke through a police cordon at the Shegeni checkpoint at the Polish-Ukrainian border to cross into Ukraine. During the incident, 22 Ukrainian law enforcement officers were injured. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko backed Saakashvili during the events.
Police in Lvov, where Saakashvili arrived to meet his party’s supporters, launched criminal proceedings into the illegal border crossing. This crime is punishable by up to five years behind bars. Police also launched a criminal investigation into Saakashvili’s disobedience to police, a charge punishable by a prison term of up to 15 years. On September 13, another criminal case was initiated, this time on charges of hooliganism.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko said that Saakashvili would not be arrested under the border trespassing case. Moreover, he pledged the former Odessa region governor would not be extradited to Georgia until all legal aspects of Saakashvili’s stay in Ukraine are settled.