Saakashvili escapes pretrial detention in Ukraine on a judge's ruling

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president turned opposition leader in Ukraine, has appeared in court in Kiev.

Saakashvili, who was Georgia's president before he entered Ukrainian politics, must be placed under house arrest, said Yuri Lutsenko, Ukraine's prosecutor general, late on Monday.

Georgia stripped Saakashvili of his citizenship after his move to Ukraine.

He added however that he "has no presidential ambitions" himself.

Saakashvili was arrested last Friday.

His lawyer, Ruslan Chernolutsky, said Saturday that Saakashvili had written a statement in jail saying "don't be afraid of anything and boldly go to Sunday's peaceful demonstration" for Petroshenko's impeachment.

Ukrainian security services arrested Saakashvili on Saturday following a botched attempt several days earlier when supporters swarmed the van where he was being held.

"Look at the Western press, they've gone insane!", he said emotionally."One awful article after another is the shame of Ukraine".

"Putin is winning, he is laughing, he is roaring with laughter", Saakashvili continued, ridiculing the notion that he could possibly be plotting together with the Russian authorities.

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was brought to a court on Monday in Ukraine's capital Kiev where he is being tried on at least three criminal counts, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Saakashvili was the key figure of the 2003 Rose Revolution protests that forced Eduard Shevardnadze to resign the presidency. He acquired Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and was appointed governor of Ukraine's southern Odessa region. He announced hunger strike protesting against his detention.

He also faces the possibility of being sent back to his native Georgia, where he faces charges of abuse of office from his years as president in 2004-2013.


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