Monday, 16 July, 2018

Former Georgia president detained in Kiev after 'threatening to jump off roof'

Mikheil Saakashvili Former President of Georgia threatens to jump off roof as prosecutors arrive at his home Former Georgia president detained in Kiev after 'threatening to jump off roof'
Melinda Barton | 05 December, 2017, 16:12

Police used tear gas against the protesters, who are impeding the vehicle taking him for questioning.

On Tuesday, the former president of Georgia and ex-governor of Ukraine's Odessa Region confined himself to the roof of his house in Kiev, while security forces searched his flat.

Mr Poroshenko revoked Mr Saakashvili's citizenship in July while he was out of the country.

"Obviously, there are going to be court hearings tomorrow, in which we will request Dangadze's non-optional arrest, as he is suspected under Criminal Code Articles 256 and 110; this is high treason, and this charge does not envision any restrictive measure other than arrest".

Saakashvili called on his supporters to go to Maidan and continue the "peaceful protest". He also called on Ukrainians to rally on Kiev's main square, the epicenter of the 2013-2014 protests, to demand the resignation of President Petro Poroshenko.

Ukrainian authorities detained Mikheil Saakashvili at his home on Tuesday morning but hundreds of protesters stopped the police van with Saakashvili inside from driving away.

Initially the crowd of supporters climbed on the van, broke the rear door, and then forcefully released Saakashvili.

Saakashvili left Georgia in 2013 after serving as president for almost a decade, and later was appointed governor of Ukraine's Odessa region. Saakashvili resigned in 2016, complaining that his efforts to root out corruption were being obstructed by officials.

Ukrainian police have detained the former president of Georgia who has emerged as an anti-corruption campaigner in his new country.

However, several hundred supporters blocked the road and surrounded the van, refusing to let it drive off.

Earlier in the day, the Security Service of Ukraine said Saakashvili was arrested on suspicion of "aiding members of criminal groups and covering up their criminal activity".

In September, he defied the Ukrainian government and forced his way back into the conflict-riven country with the help of supporters.