Reports claim Saakashvili detained, allies not confirming
Ukrainian MP Igor Lutsenko said former Georgian president and ex-governor of Odesa region, now leader of the "Movement of New Forces" in Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili, was detained on Friday.
The SBU task force Alfa was reportedly involved.
"Chronicles of insanity… Saakashvili has just been detained by Alpha. Update – perhaps, by another special unit," Lutsenko wrote on Facebook.
At the same time, SBU press officer Olena Gitlyansk in a comment to UNIAN has refuted the report.
Saakashvili's ally Yuriy Derevyanko reported from the Fairmont Hotel in Kyiv where Saakashvili is staying: "We are at the hotel. Literally a few minutes ago a special forces unit came here armed with automatic weapons. Saakashvili is here now, and they intended, obviously, to take him away. When our activists came out, they were told not to go anywhere, and the law enforcers left. They introduced themselves to the hotel security as a special unit of the border guard service. One can't visually tell them from [the SBU's SWAT team] Alpha," he said.
According to Derevianko, the hotel administration was not provided any court decisions.
As reported earlier, on December 5, Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko at a press conference made public the records of a number of wiretapped phonecalls between ex-president of Georgia, the leader of the Movement of New Forces party Mikheil Saakashvili with the ally of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, as well as a conversation between Saakashvili's allies and Kurchenko's confidant.
Read alsoSaakashvili may face extradition after losing Ukraine court appeal – mediaSaakashvili was detained in Kyiv on December 8 and remanded in custody at the SBU's Security Service's pre-trial detention center. He announced a hunger strike protesting against his arrest. Saakashvili is suspected of an attempted crime (Part 1 of Article 15 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), crime committed by prior agreement with a group of persons (Part 2 of Article 28), assistance to participants in criminal organizations and concealment of their criminal activities (Part 2 of Article 256).
Yuriy Lutsenko said that Saakashvili had been staging protests to seize state power in Ukraine and assist members of the criminal group of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and businessman Serhiy Kurchenko in halting their criminal prosecution.
Saakashvili has denied all charges.
Read alsoAt raucous hearing, Saakashvili fights for Ukrainian citizenship – mediaOn December 11, the Kyiv's Pechersky district court has turned down the prosecutor's motion to place Mikheil Saakashvili under around-the-clock house arrest for 2 months.
On January 26, 2018, Kyiv's appeals court partly satisfied an appeal filed by prosecutors against a first-instance judgement on leader of the New Forces Movement in Ukraine and ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and placed him under night time curfew.
On Feb 5, the politician lost his appeal challenging the refusal of the State Migration Service to grant him an asylum.