Global News

Ex-Georgian leader Saakashvili goes on hunger strike in Ukrainian jail

Ex-Georgian leader Saakashvili goes on hunger strike in Ukrainian jail

Ukraine's general prosecutor said on Friday police had recaptured the former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who was freed from police custody by his supporters in dramatic scenes earlier this week.

A statement posted on his official Facebook page called for a protest at the detention center. He is also facing accusations of having received financing from ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, who is now living in exile in Russian Federation, in order to stage a coup.

On Tuesday, he was dragged from his home in Kiev and arrested.

Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko said his office has evidence that Saakashvili's representative received $500,000 to finance protests from Ukrainian businessmen with ties to Russian Federation. Vowing to stay until Mr. Saakashvili was released, they lit fires in the street to keep warm, just as protesters did in the winter of 2013-14 during an ultimately successful campaign to oust Ukraine's previous president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. "Saakashvili is a fighter, he is not a man who goes down without a fight", he added, noting that his arrest might be used by the government to divert attention from the allegations of corruption.

Two students wounded near school
Investigators determined that the shooting occurred during a fight just off school grounds on Eustis-Hunt Road East. At 2:27 p.m., deputies responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls about shots fired near Graham-Kapowsin High.


Interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said a Kiev court had 72 hours to decide whether to place Saakashvili in pretrial detention.

If confirmed, the former president will face 3-5 years in prison for the charges. The ex Georgian-leader claims he is facing prosecution exclusively for political reasons.

Poroshenko rewarded Saakashvili for his efforts by appointing him governor of the important Black Sea region of Odessa in 2015.

The saga threatens to embarrass the pro-Western leadership in Kiev, although Saakashvili's party, which is now seeking to unseat Poroshenko at the ballot box, does not have nationwide support, opinion polls show.


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