Ukraine police rearrest ex-Georgian president Saakashvili

09 December, 2017, 13:47 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Ukraine's parliament withdraws bill on control of anti-graft agencies – MP

Prosecutors, who say Mr Saakashvili is being funded by businessmen close to Russian Federation, released audio and video recordings which they say proved he had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the criminal group.

Earlier on Tuesday, Saakashvili was briefly arrested from the rooftop of his five-storey apartment building in Kiev from where he had threatened to jump off. In 2016, Saakashvili quit as Odessa governor and began rallying against the Ukraine president. A spokesman for the prosecutor-general's office, Andrei Lysenko, said Saturday that officials will likely ask for him to be held under house arrest after his court appearance.

If confirmed, the former president will face 3-5 years in prison for the charges.

Saakashvili returned to the spotlight as a vocal champion of the three-month street uprising in Kiev that toppled a Moscow-backed government in 2014 and turned Ukraine on a pro-EU course. Saakashvili was elected the next year to replace him.

The politician's latest detention followed a failed attempt by police to recapture him in a raid on the camp on Wednesday, which led to violent clashes with protesters.

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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. Famous as a reformer, he was appointed by President Poroshenko of Ukraine as governor of the country's Odessa region in 2015 but fell out with his mentor and resigned previous year.

Saakashvili resigned as mayor of Odessa after declaring he could not remain in the position due to corruption that President Poroshenko was sponsoring and enabling.

On Friday, Poroshenko said the case against Saakashvili was legitimate and that he should cooperate with investigators.

The lawyer said his defendant would object to force-feeding and would continue striking if a court decides to keep him behind bars for 60 days.

Ally and fellow Georgian, Davit Sakvarelidze, who was sacked in March from his post as a senior prosecutor for Ukraine, called on Kiev residents to take to the streets to protest Saakashvili's recapture. But police have not moved to disperse it, possibly concerned that such action would only inflame tensions.

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