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Ex-Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili detained in Kiev restaurant، deported to Poland

Tuesday 13/February/2018 - 02:16 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited By: Nada Moustafa
Ukrainian Opposition Leader Mikheil Saakashvili has been deported to Poland، the Ukrainian border service said، after he was detained in a Kiev restaurant by law enforcement agents in camouflage، Reuters reported.

CCTV released by Mr Saakashvili's press service appeared to show the moment he was detained at the Suluguni restaurant.

Poland's border service confirmed that he had arrived and that Warsaw had agreed to let him enter.

The deportation appears to bring an abrupt end to a months-long cat-and-mouse game between Mr Saakashvili and the Ukrainian authorities، which saw street unrest during previous attempts to arrest him.

Some critics، including in the Opposition، said his movement distracted from the broader opposition's campaign to hold the Kiev leadership to account.

Mr Saakashvili، who served as president of his native Georgia for most of the period from 2004-2013، was invited to Ukraine by President Petro Poroshenko، who took power after protests toppled a pro-Russian leader in 2014.

He held a regional governorship from 2015-2016 before falling out with Mr Poroshenko and joining the Opposition.

Mr Poroshenko stripped Mr Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship last year، but Mr Saakashvili re-entered Ukraine anyway from Poland in September.

He promised to confront the President، whom he accuses of corruption، which Mr Poroshenko denies.

Mr Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia on embezzlement charges that he says are politically motivated.

He said he had given up his Georgian citizenship.

Mr Saakashvili also faces criminal charges in Ukraine.

The authorities accuse him of assisting a criminal organisation، which he calls a fabricated allegation to undermine his campaign to unseat Mr Poroshenko.



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