Ukrainian Court Releases Saakashvili from Detention

Kristopher Drake
December 12, 2017

Prosecutors in Ukraine sought house arrest for the former president of Georgia yesterday after he was detained and accused of aiding coup plotters backed by Russian Federation.

On December 10, thousands of people demonstrated in central Kyiv to demand Saakashvili's release and to call for the impeachment or resignation of President Petro Poroshenko.

The victorious Saakashvili said after the verdict that he will co-ordinate with other political forces in Ukraine to push for a peaceful change of government.

Saakashvili praised the judge's ruling as "courageous", and said, "It means not everything is lost in Ukraine".

"I don't consider myself a detainee, I consider myself a prisoner of war", he told journalists before the December 11 hearing.

The prosecution argued at the court hearing that the pre-trial house arrest was necessary for ensuring Mikheil Saakashvili's security against the Russian security services, who could have murdered Mikheil Saakashvili to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, according to the prosecutor.

Saakashvili, whose supporters last week hindered authorities seeking to arrest him, has denied the allegations and had gone on a hunger strike to protest his arrest.

"I consider myself a prisoner of Ukrainian oligarchs", he said in an apparent reference to the business background of Poroshenko, who ran a chocolate business before he was elected president. The group was allegedly planning to overthrow President Poroshenko. Saakashvili had supported the revolution in Ukraine that ousted Yanukovych; Poroshenko later named him governor of Odessa province. Saakashvili served two terms as president of Georgia from 2004-2013.

Georgia stripped Saakashvili of his citizenship after his move to Ukraine.

Simultaneously, few hundred activists of the United National Movement, Mikheil Saakashvili's party in Georgia staged a protest rally outside the Ukrainian Embassy premises in Tbilisi.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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