Former Georgian president goes on hunger strike after Ukraine arrest

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Former Georgian president goes on hunger strike after Ukraine arrest
Ex- president Mikheil Saakashvili

Kyiv - The 49-year-old denounced the "false accusations" against him


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Published: Sat 9 Dec 2017, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 9 Dec 2017, 10:47 PM

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has gone on hunger strike to protest his arrest in Ukraine on charges of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russia, his lawyer and supporters said Saturday.
Kyiv police rearrested the foe of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday after an attempt to detain him earlier in the week dramatically failed when supporters swarmed the van where he was being held. "Saakashvili has announced an indefinite hunger strike," journalist and close ally Vladimir Fedorin wrote on Facebook, in comments echoed by the former leader's lawyer Ruslan Chornolutskyi to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
The 49-year-old denounced the "false accusations" against him, Chornolutskyi added. Around 100 supporters of Saakashvili, the man who pulled Georgia out of Russia's orbit in a 2003 revolution before becoming a governor in Ukraine, gathered outside a security service detention centre shouting "shame" on Friday following his arrest.
A court hearing on the case is expected be held in Kyiv on Monday.
Prosecutors would ask for Saakashvili to be held under pretrial house arrest, prosecutor General spokeswoman Larysa Sargan said.
Since Saakashvili escaped detention on Tuesday he has continued leading protests outside parliament demanding Poroshenko's impeachment over his failure to fight high-level corruption. Saakashvili denies committing any crimes and says his actions have been peaceful and legal.

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