Ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili arrested in Kiev again
09 December, 2017
Ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili arrested in Kiev again
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, was arrested on Friday in Ukraine during a late-night police raid on an apartment where he had been hiding after his escape from custody following a rooftop struggle with security agents this week, The New York Times reports.

Scores of Mr. Saakashvili’s supporters gathered overnight outside the detention center, which is operated by the domestic security agency, and chanted “glory to Ukraine” and other slogans. Vowing to stay until Mr. Saakashvili was released,
they lit fires in the street to keep warm, just as protesters did in the winter of 2013-14 during an ultimately successful campaign to oust Ukraine’s previous president, Viktor F. Yanukovych.

A few hours before he was detained, Mr. Saakashvili had called for weekend protests against Mr. Poroshenko in Independence Square, an area in Kiev known as Maidan that was the center of the earlier demonstrations against Mr. Yanukovych.

Mr. Saakashvili has not yet been formally charged. Mr. Lutsenko, the prosecutor general, this week accused him of receiving $500,000 for his political activities from a fugitive Ukrainian businessman close to Mr. Yanukovych, who has lived in exile in Russia since his ouster.
geotv.ge
Supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili gathered outside the detention center where he was being held in Kiev

Mr. Saakashvili, who is also wanted in Georgia on fraud charges, denied Mr. Lutsenko’s accusations, calling them lies created to remove him as a rival to Mr. Poroshenko, a former ally turned bitter political enemy.

Mr. Saakashvili, who ruled Georgia for nearly a decade, moved to Ukraine and was given Ukrainian citizenship after Mr. Yanukovych’s removal. He initially voiced strong support for Mr. Yanukovych’s successor, Mr. Poroshenko, who appointed him governor of Odessa, a notoriously corrupt region on the Black Sea.

But the two had a bitter falling out after Mr. Saakashvili started accusing Mr. Poroshenko of tolerating and personally benefiting from high-level graft, a problem that has dogged Ukraine since it gained independence in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Saakashvili quit as Odessa’s governor last year and began rallying opposition to Mr. Poroshenko. He was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship and has also lost his Georgian citizenship, leaving him stateless.

Mr. Saakashvili was detained briefly on Tuesday after he climbed to the roof of an apartment building in Kiev and threatened to jump. He then escaped after hundreds of his supporters blocked a van that was to take him to a detention center.

geotv.ge
Saakashvili was detained on Tuesday, yet he escaped after his supporters blocked a security service van

Related stories:

Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili freed by his supporters

Mikheil Saakashvili’s supporters do not let law enforcers transfer Saakashvili to relevant department

Former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili detained in Kiev
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