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Ukraine police recapture ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili

Ukraine police recapture ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili

A few thousand protesters gathered in downtown Tbilisi on December 6 at a rally organized by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement party against what they call "a coordinated revenge by the oligarchic regimes" of Petro Poroshenko and Bidzina Ivanishvili (Georgia's former Prime Minister). He then served as Georgian president for a decade.

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

But he stepped down in 2016, complaining that Poroshenko himself had undermined his efforts.

Scores of Mr. Saakashvili's supporters gathered overnight outside the detention center, which is operated by the domestic security agency, and chanted "glory to Ukraine" and other slogans.




Ukrainian authorities this week have faced accusations of deliberately sabotaging anti-corruption reforms, which are a key condition for global support for the country as it grapples with a Russian-backed separatist insurgency. The 49-year-old is facing the threat of possible extradition to Georgia, where he is wanted on criminal charges he says were trumped up for political reasons.

On Tuesday, he was dragged from his home in Kiev and arrested. He climbed out on the roof and threatened to jump, but police grabbed him and took him to a van.

His detention was the latest twist in a prolonged feud between the Ukrainian authorities and Saakashvili, who has turned on his one-time patron Poroshenko, accusing him of corruption and calling for his removal from office.

Prosecutors, who say Mr Saakashvili is being funded by businessmen close to Russian Federation, released audio and video recordings which they say proved he had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the criminal group.

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