Global News

Former Georgia president detained in Kiev after 'threatening to jump off roof'

Former Georgia president detained in Kiev after 'threatening to jump off roof'

Supporters of former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who served as Governor of Odessa, Ukraine, have forcefully released his from a law enforcement van.

"Mr. Saakashvili will be charged under Article 256, without Article 110, which enables us - and we intend to do so tomorrow - to seek his round-the-clock house arrest with an electronic bracelet", Lutsenko said.

When the SBU, Ukraine's Security Service, went to detain Saakashvili at his home in Kiev on Tuesday, he climbed onto the roof and reportedly threatened to jump off. SBU officers went after him, detained him and led him to a waiting van. Saakashvili was subsequently detained and is to be questioned on suspicion of assisting criminals and concealing their criminal activities.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko said on TV that prosecutors have evidence that Saakashvili's representative received $500,000 from Ukrainian businessmen with ties to Russian Federation to finance protests. "I call on Ukrainians not to allow me to be abducted, I appeal to the people of Kiev not to allow lawlessness". The politician was accused of complicity with a criminal group.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the Kremlin was "once again surprised by Kiev and once again surprised by Saakashvili".

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Carl Bildt, the co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the news of the arrest was "disturbing". "That's a security issue at the end of the day", the former Swedish prime minister said via Twitter.

Mr Saakashvili served as Georgia's president for almost a decade before he was termed out of the office and left the country in 2013.

Mr Saakashvili is arguably Ukraine's most popular opposition politician and a challenge to President Petro Poroshenko, who appointed him as governor of Ukraine's Odessa region before the two fell out.

Several hours after Sunday's rally, about 150 people in camouflage and balaclava masks blocked the entrance to the only Ukrainian television station that covered Saakashvili's rally.


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