Mikhail Saakashvili, accused of plotting a coup in Ukraine and losing his Ukrainian nationality last summer, was detained and deported to Poland, the Ukrainian authorities said today.
“This person was illegally in Ukrainian territory and that is why he was sent back to the country from which he arrived in violation of Ukrainian law,” the Ukrainian border guard said in a statement.
Moments before the release of this statement, the Ukrainian media said that “Mikheil Saakashvili had been detained today in a restaurant in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev.”
At the same time, both the Ukrainian prosecution service and the Ukrainian security services (SBU), quoted by international agencies, denied involvement in Saakashvili’s detention and said they had “no information about the whereabouts of the former President of Georgia.”
“Unidentified men dressed in camouflage uniforms took Saakashvili from the Suluguni restaurant in Kiev,” Ukrainian deputy Yuri Derevyanko of the former Georgian President’s Party (New Forces Movement) said in local media reports.
Also before the official confirmation of the deportation, one of the spokesmen of the former President of Georgia, Liza Bogutska, said that the Georgian politician, former ally of the Ukrainian President (Petro Poroshenko) but now the main figure of the opposition to the government of Ukrainian, was being transported to Borispol airport, about 30 kilometres from Kiev, to be deported to Poland.
“We are going to Borispol airport. Apparently they want to take Misha (diminutive in Russian to Mikheil) on the 17:25 flight to Warsaw. We will block the airport, “Bogutska wrote on the social network, Facebook.
Mikheil Saakashvili, who after leaving Georgia gained Ukrainian nationality and was governor of the Ukrainian region of Odessa, was arrested on several occasions last December on suspicion of “participating in criminal organisations” and planning an eventual coup.
The politician in recent weeks, has proclaimed a political persecution by the Ukrainian authorities, having demanded the dismissal of the Kiev executive.
On September 10th last year, Saakashvili was forcibly brought into Ukraine from the Polish territory, having managed to bypass the Ukrainian border forces, with the help of hundreds of supporters.