Saakashvili: Supporters free ex-Georgia leader from Ukraine police



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 Georgian former President Mikhail Saakashvili struggles out of a police car in Kiev Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Mr Saakashvili was removed from the police van by his supporters
                

Supporters of former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili have freed him from a police van in Ukraine after his arrest on suspicion of badisting a criminal organization.

Mr Saakashvili urged his supporters in the capital, Kiev, to impeach President Petro Poroshenko, a former ally.

He was made a Ukrainian citizen in 2015, which made him lose his Georgian citizenship.

Mr Saakashvili has become a fierce opponent of Mr Poroshenko.

He has accused the president of failing to root out of corruption

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With one hand in handcuffs and surrounded by hundreds of people, Mr Saakashvili urged his supporters to march to the Ukrainian parliament.

"I You must not be afraid, "he said through a loudspeaker."

Officials have not commented on Mr Saakashvili's escape. Earlier, masked officers dragged Mr Saakashvili, 49, from his home

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

A triumphant Mr Saakashvili greets supporters after being freed
                

Mr Saakashvili's detention was part of an operation "to disrupt a plan of revenge of pro-Kremlin forces in Ukraine", Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said.

He is suspected of receiving financing from a criminal group linked to former President Viktor Yanukovich, Mr Lutsenko added

Mr Saakashvili could face up to five years in jail if found guilty.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Earlier, National Guard officers and Mr Saakashvili's supporters clashed in Kiev
                

Mr Saakashvili is now a stateless person, as his Ukrainian citizenship was removed by Mr Poroshenko after a falling out. Mr Saakashvili has accused the president of blocking efforts to stop corruption.

He faces the threat of extradition to Georgia, where he is wanted on corruption charges. I have claimed the accusations are politically motivated.

I have previously served as governor of the Odessa region after being appointed by Mr Poroshenko in 2015.

Before moving to Ukraine, Mr Saakashvili served for almost 10 years as president of Georgia. [19659031] [ad_2]
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