UPDATING: Saakashvili detained in Kyiv for “supporting criminal organizations”

Saakashvili on the roof of his house. Photo: 112.ua

Saakashvili on the roof of his house. Photo: 112.ua 

News

In the morning of December 5, law enforcers came to search the house of ex-Georgian President and ex-Odesa Oblast governor Mikheil Saakashvili in Kyiv, Ukraine. As a result, Saakashvili was detained. This happened after more than a month and a half of permanent protests near the Ukrainian Parliament and across Ukraine, led by Saakashvili. In particular, just two days before the arrest, Saakashvili organized a large march and rally in support of adopting a law on the impeachment of the president. Now, Saakashvili’s supporters have gathered around his house to prevent the law enforcers from taking him away.

The law enforcement officers came to the house of the politician in Kyiv early in the morning. His ally Davit Sakvarelidze informed about this on his Facebook page. Saakashvili’s supporters started to gather near his house. The politician ran the roof of the building and talked to his supporters from it. In the end, he was detained.

The Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) stated that they are implementing investigative actions together with General Prosecutor’s Office. The statement on the SBU site says that he is detained in terms of of criminal proceedings, opened under Part 1 of Art. 256 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (assisting members of criminal organizations and covering their criminal activities). The article foresees imprisonment from 3 to 5 years.

Photo: pravda.com.ua

His lawyers were not allowed to come. However, the law enforcers said that they submitted a suspicion, according to the law.

When the law enforcers led Saakashvili out, the protesters near the street blocked the bus with the detained politician.


Unrest is expected within the Parliament today. The leader of Batkivshchyna party Yuliya Tymoshenko has already condemned the actions of the law enforcers.

The protests near the Parliament started in October. Led by representatives of NGOs and politicians, protesters came out with the demand of a “great political reform”.

It included three main demands: to change the election rules, to create an Anti-Corruption Court, and to cancel parliamentary immunity. Later the representatives of NGOs stated that they are going to continue the protest in another format, while the politicians lead by Saakashvili stayed in the street calling for impeachment.

Earlier this year, Saakashvili was deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship when he was abroad. Despite the lack of legal reasons to return to Ukraine, Saakashvili managed to do it with the help of protesters who helped him to cross the border.

A livestream by Radio Svoboda:

12:56: The van with Saakashvili is blocked by his supporters near Yevropeiska Ploshcha. The atmosphere is violent.

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Some are setting up barricades on the square.

12:00

Following the morning detention of ex-Georgian President and ex-Odesa Oblast governor Mikheil Saakashvili in his house in Kyiv, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko had a briefing with journalists. During it, he presented a video which allegedly proves Saakashvili and his allies were cooperating with Serhiy Kurchenko, a runaway oligarch from the entourage of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. In particular, he released the video of the conversation between Saakashvili and Kurchenko. Read more here: Prosecutor General accuses Saakashvili in cooperating with pro-Russian oligarch, latter calls for protests

14:15

After a several-hour-long standoff between law enforcement and Saakashvili supporters, the latter manage to help the politician escape the blockaded van. Saakashvili, heading a column of his supporters, is heading towards the Ukrainian Parliament. In a video, he called upon Ukrainians to “stand up against Poroshenko and his gang,” calling them to come protest at Kyiv’s central square, Maidan, and vowed to get rid of oligarchs.

https://twitter.com/ChristopherJM/status/938015596385591298

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 14:50

Saakashvili is already near the Verkhovna Rada:

14:56

Saakashvili addressing the crowd: “Power in Ukraine has been seized by an organized criminal group.”

Other key points:

“Ukraine will be the largest nation in Europe”
“I will never be like Putin”
“Get rid of the gang,” the rallying cry of Maidan, taken up by Saakashvili protests
“Real Ukrainians have to be in the government”

15:00

The U.S. Embassy calls to deescalate tensions:

15:50

Saakashvili calls an “absolute fake” the claim of Prosecutor General Lutsenko that he has received $500,000 from Yanukovych ally, fugitive oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko.

16:40

Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko is now outlining charges against Saakashvili in the Verkhovna Rada:

17:04

The Kyiv Police detained 9 persons involved in the standoff in central Kyiv today, reportedly, “most of them have been released.”

17:29

PG Lutsenko says in the Verkhovna Rada that law enforcers will use best endeavors to detain Saakashvili within 24 hours and calls on Saakashvili to appear before the investigators at 09:00 tomorrow.

17:44

Today’s events in Kyiv in 30 seconds:


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  • veth

    Nobody needs this populist anymore.

    Savchenko reportedly meets with “DPR” deputy head – media

    11:45, 05 December 2017

    Politics

    102 0

    Ukrainian MP Nadiia Savchenko has once again visited the occupied areas in Donbas, where she met with the so-called deputy leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”), according to the news portal Glavcom.

  • veth

    Saakashvili received $500,000 from Kurchenko – prosecutor general

    05.12.2017 13:25

    Ukrinform

    Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has said that Mikheil Saakashvili, the leader of the Movement of New Forces party, has received half a million U.S. dollars from Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko in order to organize protest rallies.

    He stated this during a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    “It was established that a person close to Saakashvili, citizen Severion Dangadze, applied through an authorized person to Serhiy Kurchenko, who is hiding from prosecution of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies in Moscow, with a proposal to finance Saakashvili’s activities in exchange for the interests of members of an organized criminal group. We recorded the receipt of about half a million dollars from the Russian side to the entourage of Saakashvili, about half of which was handed to Severion Dongadze,” Lutsenko said.

    He noted that several Ukrainians, who were in Moscow, were collaborating with investigators and provided closed testimony in this criminal proceeding. “It is their activity that allows us to disclose audio and video evidence of funding of Saakashvili’s activities by Serhiy Kurchenko and other members of a criminal organization directly related to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation,” Lutsenko added.

    He said that investigators had concluded that Kurchenko financed Saakashvili in order to “seize state power in Ukraine and assist members of a criminal organized group in stopping their criminal prosecution and restoring control over the assets they acquired in their time in a criminal way.”

    As reported, employees of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine searched Saakashvili’s apartment at Kostiolna Street in Kyiv on Tuesday morning. After the search, Saakashvili was detained and put into a minibus. At the same time, the politician’s supporters surrounded the minibus and prevent it from traveling.

    Later, the SBU reported on its website that Saakashvili had been detained as part of a criminal proceeding opened under Part 1, Article 256 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (assisting members of criminal organizations and covering their criminal activity).

    • Tony

      So are they arresting Kurchenko aswell? If why not why not? Something here smells real bad, not like justice more like trumped up charges and abusing power.

  • Tony

    Sounds like political prosecution and trumped up charges to me. It would depend on the legal facts but this Poroshenko’s government, they unconstitutionally stripped Saakashvili of citizenship on a flimsy excuse. So I dont hold Poroshenko’s government in high regards on legal details or fair process. Poroshenko is also half assed on reforms and now he wants to play dictator, get rid of him already!

    • veth

      Will Saakashkili be a better President? Nope……………

      • Tony

        Why not? Compare his reforms progress in Georgia to Poroshenko, there is no contest.

    • veth

      If the video with Kurchenko is truth, Sasha has a big problem…………

  • AmounRah

    OH MAN!
    Where are all the Russophobic trolls hating on Proshenko’s government for “arresting” those who criticize him?
    This isn’t the first time either (like the car b0mbs).

  • veth

    aw enforcers found a passport of Mikheil Saakashvili, the leader of the Movement of New Forces, during today’s searches in the apartment of his ally Severion Dangadze, who mediated in the negotiations of Saakashvili and Serhiy Kurchenko. General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko reported that during his briefing, broadcasted by the 112 Ukraine TV channel.
    “A lot of materials, necessary for the investigation, including the unblessed passport of Ukrainian citizen Saakashvili, which according to him was confiscated and stored at the Minister of Internal Affairs or at the President, were found during the searches in the apartments where Severion Dangadze lived in Kyiv. Practically, it was there, in Dangadze’s flat, all the time,” he noted.

    Related: Accusations of ties with Kurchenko are totally fake, – Saakashvili
    As we reported earlier, Saakashvili stated that Ukrainian law enforcers took his passport away during the search in the bus, when he was crossing Polish-Ukrainian border. Police denied this statement. Later Saakashvili stated that his passport was in the cabinet of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

    HE LIED ABOUT HIS SO-CALLED STOLEN PASSPORT………………….NOW ITS FOUND IN HIS FRIENDS APARTMENT…………………………

  • Eolone

    Is there a transcript of Lutsenko’s video in the Rada posted on liveuamap?

  • veth

    RUSSIA BANNED FROM OLYMPICS GAMES 2018!