Ukrainian security forces arrested former Odessa mayor Mikhail Saakashvili after a previous attempt several days ago failed spectacularly when Saakashvili fled to his roof and threatened to jump. A large crowd of his supporters then pulled him from a police vehicle.
“Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said the 49-year-old anti-corruption campaigner was arrested on charges of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russia. “We are planning to conduct an investigation and ask the court to set a bail hearing,” Lutsenko wrote on Facebook,” wrote AFP.
Saakashvili resigned as mayor of Odessa after declaring he could not remain in the position due to corruption that President Poroshenko was sponsoring and enabling. After starting a new political movement, the Movement of New Forces, that targeted the president, Poroshenko revoked his citizenship. Saakashvili then re-entered the country illegally and staged multiple rallies in the capital demanding the president be impeached. These actions led to his detention.
Interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said the matter was now with the courts who had to decide whether to place the former president of Georgia in pre-trial detention.
Poroshenko vowed Saakashvili would be given a fair trial. “I don’t exclude that the inquiry may ask for extra expertise, including from international organisations, to enhance trust,” Poroshenko told reporters in Vilnius at a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.
“He (Saakashvili) has to answer to investigators and to society regarding the accusations against him,” Poroshenko said.
“If he doesn’t answer, it only means that these accusations are well-founded.”