Ukrainian Police Recapture Former Georgian Leader Saakashvili

Dozens of Ukrainian police in riot gear raided a protest camp outside parliament on Wednesday in a failed attempt to detain former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who was freed from custody by supporters a day earlier, Reuters reported.

Mr Saakashvili is suspected of receiving financing from a criminal group linked to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

On Tuesday, police tried to arrest Saakashvili at his apartment building.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denied on Friday interfering with the work of law enforcement bodies investigating corruption and he urged such agencies to refrain from playing politics. Saakashvili then re-entered the country illegally and staged multiple rallies in the capital demanding the president be impeached.

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The authorities responded by giving him a deadline of 24 hours to hand himself in.

General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko said the opposition leader had been detained by police and was in a temporary detention facility.

Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko says his office has evidence that Saakashvili's representative received $500,000 to finance protests from Ukrainian businessmen with ties to Russian Federation.

If found guilty, he could face up to five years in jail.

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In a Facebook post late on December 7, Saakashvili told supporters he had lost his voice and was running a temperature but would "be by your side again" at a midday march to Kyiv's Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, on Sunday, according to RFE/RL.

Mr Saakashvili also faces the threat of extradition to Georgia, where he is wanted on corruption charges.

He previously served as governor of the southern Odessa region after being appointed by Mr Poroshenko in 2015.

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  • Ryan Wade