Tags: mikheil saakashvili | freed | ukraine | police

Mikheil Saakashvili Freed From Ukraine Police Van by Crowd

Image: Mikheil Saakashvili Freed From Ukraine Police Van by Crowd

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, center, greets protesters after he escaped with help from supporters and led them on a march toward parliament, where they planned to call for President Petro Poroshenko to resign in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 Dec 2017 12:26 PM

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of country of Georgia, was freed from a Ukraine police van by a crowd early Tuesday and addressed his supporters outside of parliament, The Guardian reported.

It was not clear what charges Saakashvili faced, but masked security forces took him into custody Tuesday morning at his flat in central Kiev, The Guardian reported. Saakashvili had tried to escape by going to his roof and threatening to jump before he was apprehended.

Supporters surrounded the van Saakashvili was in, preventing it from leaving in an hourlong standoff, The Guardian said.

The newspaper reported that Saakashvili was released from the van and then he led supporters to parliament where he denounced Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko as "the head of an organized crime gang." He charged that Poroshenko's government was "trying to get rid of a loud voice telling them they are thieves."

"An organized criminal group has seized power in our beloved Ukraine," Saakashvili told the rally, according to Radio Free Europe. "I call on everyone, every real Ukrainian, to demand his resignation."

Attorneys connected to Saakashvili told The Guardian that the Ukrainian government might charge him with supporting criminal groups or plotting a coup. They added that the government could deport him to Georgia, where he faces criminal charges that Saakashvili claims are politically motivated.

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko charged at a briefing, according to Radio Free Europe, that an "organized crime" group led by former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, who is in exile in Russia, has financed protests organized by Saakashvili.

Ukraine charged that Saakashvili's protests were trying to bring a "Russian Winter" to the Ukraine, a phrase that appeared to reference the "Arab Spring" rallies in many Middle East countries in 2010, noted a Radio Free Europe tweet.

Saakashvili told Radio Free Europe before his rally Tuesday that the charges against him were "all fake."

Radio Free Europe said in a tweet, that Lutsenko still wants to bring Saakashvili in.

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Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of country of Georgia, was freed from a Ukraine police van by a crowd early Tuesday and addressed his supporters outside of parliament, The Guardian reported.
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2017-26-05
Tuesday, 05 Dec 2017 12:26 PM
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