Global News

Ex-Georgian President Saakashvili deported from Ukraine

Ex-Georgian President Saakashvili deported from Ukraine

Camouflage-clad Ukrainian border officers have detained the country's opposition leader in a restaurant and deported him to Poland.

In December, Saakashvili climbed on the roof of a building in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, as armed police stormed his apartment.

Saakashvili's spokeswoman, Tetiana Bahranovska, told Ukrinform that it was unknown at the moment who was moving the former Odesa regional governor, and where.

Oleh Slobodyan, a spokesman for the Ukrainian border guards, said on Facebook that the agency's personnel had to use force against Saakashvili's supporters at the airport.

Mikhail Saakashvili, accused of plotting a coup in Ukraine and losing his Ukrainian nationality last summer, was detained and deported to Poland, the Ukrainian authorities said today.

Opinion polls indicate that Saakashvili and the political movement he has created have only limited popularity in Ukraine, where parliamentary and presidential elections are due to be held in 2019.

Georgia's Defence Minister Levan Izoria supported Ukraine's move, saying: "When there are facts indicating breach of law, one must face justice [even if he is a former president]".




On January 5, a Ukrainian court rejected Saakashvili's request for protection from extradition, denying him the status of a person in need of sanctuary.

An eyewitness caught this video of Saakashvili's detention, according to an update on the ex-president's Facebook page.

The Migration Service clarified in its press release that he had "lost ground for further stay in Ukraine" with the court rejection of his asylum appeal, and that Mikheil Saakashvili was returned to Poland through the EU-Ukraine agreement on readmission. Since then, he has led repeated protests against Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Later in the day, the Polish Border Guard said in a statement that Saakashvili had arrived in Warsaw. He is also wanted in his native Georgia for alleged abuse of power.

However, their relationship deteriorated, culminating in Saakashvili's resignation from the position in 2016 in a protest against what he said was high-level corruption.

"I am with you and I will fight to the end".


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