Former Georgian president wanted in Ukraine

ANADOLU AGENCY
KIEV
Published

Ukraine issued Wednesday an arrest warrant for former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili on at least three criminal counts, according to a spokeswoman for general prosecutor's office in Kiev. The arrest warrant came a day after Saakashvili was briefly detained in the capital Kiev in an incident that saw him climb onto the roof of his apartment building when police raided his address.

Saakashvili is sought for "attempted crime", "organized crime", and "aiding and abetting members of a criminal organization and covering up criminal activity", Larysa Sargan said in a Twitter post. She said the investigation against Saakashvili would be carried out by the national police and the Security Service of Ukraine, country's top agency for counterintelligence and terrorism. The Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Saakashvili, who leads the Ukrainian New Forces Movement party, was arrested on the roof and led to a police van in Tuesday's incident. However, in a tense stand-off, Saakashvili's supporters freed him from the van with little police resistance. He then gave a speech outside St. Alexander Cathedral.

After serving as president of Georgia for 10 years, Saakashvili was appointed the governor of Ukraine's southern Odessa region by Poroshenko in 2015 but resigned the following year. He has become an outspoken critic of Poroshenko, who he has accused of corruption. On Sunday, he called on his supporters to rally in Kiev's main square to demand Poroshenko's impeachment. Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship while in the U.S. earlier this year, rendering him stateless, but in September he crossed from Poland with the help of supporters. His Georgian citizenship was removed when he took up Ukrainian nationality in 2015.

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