Georgia's Ex-President Saakashvili Seeks Asylum In Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine's Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili has applied for political asylum in Ukraine, local media reported on Tuesday.

Mikheil Saakashvili made his latest comments at a rally in the Black Sea city of Odesa on September 30.

Markiyan Galabala, Saakashvili's lawyer, told reporters that the politician, who lost his Ukrainian citizenship earlier, submitted official documents to the State Migration Service of Ukraine in September, requesting asylum.

According to Galabala, the asylum request means Saakashvili can't be extradited to Georgia in the near future.

Saakashvili, 49, served two terms as Georgian president from 2004 to 2013.

He was granted Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and appointed governor of Odessa.

On July 26 this year, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revoked Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship for allegedly submitting false information while applying for a Ukrainian passport.

On Sept. 10 Saakashvili crossed into Ukraine from Poland, without showing documents to the border guards, reports said.

Hundreds of supporters broke through the cordon of border guards and security forces and escorted him into Ukraine.

The National Police of Ukraine has opened criminal proceedings against Saakashvili and his supporters over the unlawful border crossing.

On Sept. 5, the Georgian Chief Prosecutor's Office asked Kiev to take measures for Saakashvili's extradition.

In Georgia, Saakashvili faces charges of corruption, abuse of power and embezzlement.

Source: Xinhua