Ukraine arrests anti-corruption activist Saakashvili

Dec 09, 2017, 10:41
Ukraine arrests anti-corruption activist Saakashvili

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been detained in Ukraine's capital Kiev, days after his supporters freed him from a police van.

General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko later acknowledged that the operation could have been carried out more effectively, but said police had acted in accordance with the law.

"Mikheil Saakashvili won yesterday, and he won not when the Ukrainian people released him from the police minivan, but when he was arrested".

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"I assured the President that the IMF stands ready to continue to support Ukraine, along with other global partners, in the fight against corruption and encouraged the authorities to accelerate the implementation of reforms", she said.

Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko says his office has evidence that Saakashvili's representative received $500,000 to finance protests from Ukrainian businessmen with ties to Russian Federation.

His detention, first reported on his Facebook page, was confirmed by Ukraine's Prosecutor General.

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Saakashvili became a regional governor in Ukraine in 2015 at Poroshenko's invitation but they later fell out.

Law enforcement officers searched Saakashvili's apartment in Kyiv on December 5, dragged him off the roof, and bundled him into a vehicle. Saakashvili had received plaudits for his anti-corruption reforms in Georgia and was expected to try for similar results in Odessa.

"Saakashvili will be detained and the best thing he could do, if he were a man, if he really loved Ukraine even a little, would be to come today to Volodymyrska Street (security service headquarters) to testify to investigators", he told parliament. Georgia had earlier stripped his citizenship and sought his extradition on charges of abuse of power while president.

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