Saakashvili on hunger strike after arrest

Kiev: Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has gone on hunger strike to protest his arrest in Ukraine on charges of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russia, his lawyer and supporters said Saturday.
Kiev police rearrested the foe of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday after an attempt to detain him earlier in the week dramatically failed when supporters swarmed the van where he was being held.
“Saakashvili has announced an indefinite hunger strike,” journalist and close ally Vladimir Fedorin wrote on Facebook, in comments echoed by the former leader’s lawyer Ruslan Chornolutskyi to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
The 49-year-old denounced the “false accusations” against him, Chornolutskyi added.
Around 100 supporters of Saakashvili, the man who pulled Georgia out of Russia’s orbit in a 2003 revolution before becoming a governor in Ukraine, gathered outside a security service detention centre shouting “shame” on Friday following his arrest.
A court hearing on the case is expected be held in Kiev on Monday.
Prosecutors would ask for Saakashvili to be held under pretrial house arrest, prosecutor General spokeswoman Larysa Sargan said.
— AFP