Ukrainian Court Releases Saakashvili from Detention

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is the bitter enemy of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, after calling on society for his impeachment, was freed from during a court session on Monday evening.

The prosecutors were asking for a two-month house detention, however, the judge turned down the prosecutors’ request and recognized Saakashvili as not guilty.

Saakashvili was arrested Friday on allegations of assisting and covering criminal organizations, also for getting funding from oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko, an ally of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, to finance rallies against the authorities and plot a coup d’etat.

To prove Saakashvili’s alleged guilt, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko had a recording of an intercepted phone conversation allegedly between Saakashvili and Kurchenko, and also alleged conversations between Severion Dangadze, an official of Saakashvili’s party, and an unidentified associate of Kurchenko.

Saakashvili says that the tapes have been fabricated and rejects all other charges.

The ex-Georgian President claims his arrest was politically motivated and ordered by Poroshenko.

The trial was attended by the defendant, his wife Sandra Roelofs and leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, including Yulia Tymoshenko. 

Right after being released, Saakashvili said he will coordinate with other political forces in Ukraine to push for a peaceful change of the government.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: Sergei Grits/Associated Press

12 December 2017 07:20