UPDATED: Georgia’s ex-President Saakashvili detained in Ukraine

Saakashvili was detained in Kiev.Photo by Valentyn Ogirenko, Reuters.
Agenda.ge, 05 Dec 2017 - 16:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

UPDATED: 16:06 

After several hours of conflict with law enforcement, Ukrainian supporters of Georgia’s former President Saakashvili have managed to get him out of the police car which intended to take him into custody.

Now Saakashvili and his supporters are heading to Rada, to the legislative body of Ukraine. 

EARLIER: 13:34

Georgia’s third President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is charged with several crimes in Georgia, has been detained by Ukrainian security forces today in Kiev.

Saakashvili is charged with cooperating with criminal groups and the cover up of offenses committed by them.

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

Ukraine’s Chief Prosecutor’s staff and security forces have been searching Saakashvili’s accommodation since this morning in the capital of Ukraine.

During the search the former president was on the roof of the building, addressing his supporters.

Saakashvili’s lawyer Beka Beselia says that the former president’s detention is "politically motivated" and he would not be surprised if Ukraine extradites Saakashvili to Georgia.

The United National Movement opposition, the party founded by Saakashvili in Georgia, claims the detention came because of a deal between the Ukrainian and Georgian authorities, which is "beyond any legal grounds”.

Head of the Legal Affairs Committee in Georgian parliament Eka Beselia says that all the following legal procedures concerning Saakashvili will take place based on mutual cooperation with relevant bodies of Ukraine.

Georgia's Chief Prosecutor's Office commented on the detention. Photo by Prosecutor's Office press service. 

Georgia has demanded Saakashvili’s extradition several times. Saakashvili has already been sentenced to pre-trial detention in Georgia and he will be arrested as soon as he appears in the country,” Beselia said.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office has released a statement in which the body claimed they had received no information over today’s operation against Saakashvili from Ukraine’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

The decision about the former president’s extraction should be made only by the relevant bodies of Ukraine. We have sent all the necessary documentation”, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office said.

Georgian Dream party leader Mamuka Mdinaradze told the media that Saakashvili was taking shameful steps to stay in the focus of media and the international community.

  • Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili as the Odessa Governor in May 2015, but in November 2016 the Georgian ex-President quit the post, accusing Poroshenko of corruption.
  • Saakashvili, who served as Georgia’s third president from 2004 to 2007 and again from 2008 to 2013, announced his resignation as Odessa governor at a special press conference on November 7, 2016.
  • Saakashvili then said despite his resignation, he would continue his fight against corruption in Ukraine along with "young and honest forces”.
  • In 2014 Saakashvili was officially charged for his role in several crimes in Georgia however by the time his case went through court he was already in Ukraine.
  • Saakashvili is accused of the violent dispersal of anti-government mass protests on November 7, 2007; unlawful raiding of Imedi television company by riot police and the illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili.
  • Prior to his appointment as the Governor of Odessa, Saakashvili received Ukrainian citizenship.
  • Receiving Ukrainian citizenship meant Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship was automatically revoked.
  • In July this year Ukrainian President issued a decree to annul Ukrainian citizenship for Saakashvili and now the former president has no citizenship.