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Georgia's request for Saakashvili extradition from Ukraine justified -- Russian lawmaker

Georgia's claim on Ukraine for extradition of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili is fully justified, Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Russian parliament's upper house foreign affairs committee, said on Wednesday.

"Saakashvili faces particular charges which have nothing to do with either political repressions or attempts by the new Georgian authorities to politically lynch their predecessors," the chairman said.

Saakashvili's attempt to make it a political case was merely a way to weasel his way out instead of "facing tough questions," Kosachev said.

Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia for abuse of power, armed assault, embezzlement of millions of dollars in budget funds and has been put on a national wanted list.

Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili head of the President's International Advisory Council on reform.

Georgia's former leader could be credited for certain achievements in the country's internal policy but overall, his reckless actions had lead to violation of the country's territorial integrity, he added, judging it "illogical and unfeasible to employ an individual with such a 'credit history' for any major government position" and that "Saakashvili's appointment is an aggravating factor for Ukrainian-Georgian relations".

Vitaly Kasko, Ukraine's deputy Prosecutor-General, said on Tuesday that Georgia's request was being reviewed. "We neither granted, nor rejected it," he said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 18Feb15]

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