Ukraine again arrests Mikheil Saakashvili, ex-president of Georgia

10 December, 2017, 02:46 | Author: Dustin Murphy
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The arrest attempt and a police raid on a small supporter tent encampment raised concerns that Ukraine is facing its worst political crisis since the 2014 protests that drove the pro-Russia president out of the country.

Saakashvili's recapture follows a surreal game of hide-and-seek that saw him clamber on a roof to avoid law enforcement, before being broken out of a police van by protesters amid clashes with hundreds of riot police on Tuesday.

His detention, first reported on his Facebook page, was confirmed by Ukraine's Prosecutor General.

A few thousand protesters gathered in downtown Tbilisi on December 6 at a rally organized by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement party against what they call "a coordinated revenge by the oligarchic regimes" of Petro Poroshenko and Bidzina Ivanishvili (Georgia's former Prime Minister).


The situation near parliament was calm at around 1230 GMT, although an increased number of armoured police stood guard around the building, according to a Reuters witness.

Saaksahvili became a regional governor in Ukraine at Poroshenko's invitation, But he later turned on his one-time patron, accusing the Ukrainian leader of corruption. Saakashvili denies the allegations against him.

He has since continued leading protests outside parliament demanding Poroshenko's impeachment over his failure to fight high-level corruption.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday the global lender was "deeply concerned by recent events in Ukraine that could roll back progress that has been made in setting up independent institutions to tackle high-level corruption".

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