‘He asks for the official status of a person in need of extra protection. He filed the respective appeal to the state migration service in Lviv region on September 11; this status is commonly referred to as political asylum,’ the lawyer said.
Earlier today, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General commented on possible extradition of Saakashvili to Georgia; according to him, there are now certain obstacles for that, namely Saakashvili’s appeal for political asylum, which was handed over to the migration service. ‘Under our international commitments, this prevents his extradition. We are looking into it, and we’re looking forward to the Justice Ministry’s conclusions,’ Lutsenko said.
According to the Justice Ministry, the legal ground for extradition of criminals is the European Convention on Extradition, as well as the acting bilateral agreements on extradition and legal assistance in criminal cases, which include provisions about extradition. One of the major conditions is that the actions of the particular person should be due to punishment under the laws of both sides – the one sending the extradition request and the one receiving it.
Besides, no country can extradite an individual who committed a political crime, but is not considered a war criminal or the one who committed crimes against humanity.
Last month, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office began checking Georgia’s request to extradite Mikheil Saakashvili, which reached the Ukrainian authority on September 5. Georgia’s prosecutor general’s office charges the ex-president with embezzlement and power abuse.
As it was reported earlier, the former Georgian leader illegally crossed the Ukrainian border via Shegyni checkpoint, breaking the law due to incorrect completion of border crossing procedure.
The crowd of at least 60 people, including five MPs, literally carried Saakashvili beyond the checkpoint, getting into a fight with law enforcers. The police and the state security service investigate the incident.
However, Prosecutor General of Ukraine said Saakashvili would not be expelled from Ukraine or arrested.