Ex-Georgian president avoids pre-trial detention


Kyiv's Pechersky district court has turned down the prosecutor's motion to place leader of the Movement of New Forces Party in Ukraine and ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who is accused by the Ukrainian authorities of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russian Federation, under around-the-clock house arrest for two months, APA reports quoting UNIAN.

Thousands of Saakashvili's supporters marched across Kyiv on Sunday, demanding his release and calling for oroshenko to be impeached.

Saakashvili was arrested on allegations that he colluded with Ukrainian businessmen tied to Russian Federation to topple President Petro Poroshenko, something he denies.

"What was important was that we did not bow our heads and showed no fear, we did not let them scare others", Mikheil Saakashvili said in his remarks after the court hearing.

"I don't consider myself a detainee, I consider myself a prisoner of war", he told journalists before the Monday hearing.

"I'm not afraid. I consider myself a prisoner of the Ukrainian oligarchy", Interfax cited Saakashvili as saying. He acquired Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and was appointed governor of Ukraine's southern Odessa region.

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Saakashvili, now a leader of the Ukrainian political party "Movement of New Forces", left the court surrounded by his supporters.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is also an opposition leader, was in the courthouse and likened Poroshenko to Yanukovych.

Saakashvili, whose supporters last week hindered authorities seeking to arrest him, has denied the allegations and had gone on a hunger strike to protest his arrest. But the two men had a falling out; Saakashvili accused Poroshenko of corruption and subsequently was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship.

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

Saakashvili, 49, entered Ukrainian politics after serving as president of Georgia following the Georgian "Rose Revolution" he spearheaded in 2003.