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Former Georgian president Saakashvili detained in Ukraine

5 December 2017 14:01

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, has been detained by police at his home in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

Saakashvili was forcefully taken into custody from his apartment in central Kiev by masked security forces on Tuesday. The forces then searched his house.

Video footage appeared showing Saakashvili appearing on the roof of his house and calling out to the passersby before being arrested.

“They want to kidnap me because I’ve risen up to protect the Ukrainian people. They wanted to do it by stealth, but this did not work out,” he yelled out to a crowd who had gathered on the street.

He even threatened to jump off the roof if police tried to detain him, according to reports.

Saakashvili was president of Georgia for two consecutive terms, from 2004 to 2013. He was barred by the constitution of Georgia from seeking a third term.

In 2014, Saakashvili voiced support for the pro-West developments in Ukraine, and in 2015, he gave up his Georgian citizenship and accepted an offer to become the governor of Odessa Region at the personal behest of President Petro Poroshenko, who was his ally back then and who led the new Kiev government.

However, Saakashvili resigned from the post of governor in November 2016 and became an opposition force, organizing anti-government rallies against the Kiev government.

On 26 July 2017, Saakashvili was personally stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by President Poroshenko, and his new passport was annulled.

In his native Georgia, Saakashvili is wanted on numerous charges, including corruption. He claims the charges are politically-motivated.

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