Ex-Georgian president Saakashvili on hunger strike after Ukraine arrest

Ex-Georgian president Saakashvili on hunger strike after Ukraine arrest

Prosecutors in Ukraine sought house arrest for the former president of Georgia yesterday after he was detained and accused of aiding coup plotters backed by Russian Federation.

The decision was announced by a judge of Kyiv's Pechersky district court at a hearing on Monday, December 11.

In July this year, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revoked Saakashvili's citizenship following allegations that he submitted false information while applying for his Ukrainian passport.

"What was important was that we did not bow our heads and showed no fear, we did not let them scare others", Mikheil Saakashvili said in his remarks after the court hearing.

Saakashvili praised the judge's ruling as "courageous", and said, "It means not everything is lost in Ukraine".

Supported by a number of Ukrainian lawmakers in the courtroom and several hundred protesters gathered outside the court, Saakashvili called the trial "a shame" of current authorities that has inspired critical media coverage.




"I'm not afraid. I consider myself a prisoner of the Ukrainian oligarchy", Interfax cited Saakashvili as saying.

He is under investigation for allegedly receiving funds from a fugitive businessman close to deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to launch a coup in Ukraine.

He said he was "the person who took Russia's first strike" - a reference to the five-day war in which Russian forces drove deep into Georgia in 2008, during his 2004-13 presidency in the South Caucasus country.

Saakashvili became governor of Ukraine's Odesa region in 2015 but quit a year later, accusing the authorities of sabotaging reform efforts in the region and nationwide.

Saakashvili was earlier stripped of Ukraine's citizenship, but he managed to illegally enter the country.

Simultaneously, few hundred activists of the United National Movement, Mikheil Saakashvili's party in Georgia staged a protest rally outside the Ukrainian Embassy premises in Tbilisi.

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