Georgia's ex-President Saakashvili detained in Ukraine

Ukraine bows to IMF pressure on anti-corruption agency
Ukrainian government should ensure NABU's independence - Grybauskaite
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09 December, 2017

The saga threatens to embarrass the pro-Western leadership in Kiev, although Saakashvili's party, which is now seeking to unseat Poroshenko at the ballot box, does not have nationwide support, opinion polls show.

Interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said the matter was now with the courts who had to decide whether to place the former president of Georgia in pre-trial detention.

Ukrainian authorities this week have faced accusations of deliberately sabotaging anti-corruption reforms, which are a key condition for global support for the country as it grapples with a Russian-backed separatist insurgency. His court hearing is supposed to be held on Monday.

"Over the last 2.5 years of activity of the anti-corruption institutions, everybody, including the heads of these institutions, has said there has not been a single instance of interference by the president in their work", Poroshenko said.

"Ukraine needs to ensure the independence of the NABU in such a way that politicians can not influence the NABU's work".

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Action by parliament and prosecutors against existing anti-corruption institutions such as the NABU investigative bureau also provoked a wave of criticism this week from reformists in Ukraine and its foreign backers, including the International Monetary Fund.

"He (Saakashvili) has to answer to investigators and to society regarding the accusations against him", Poroshenko said. "Their plan is to break the independence of anti-corruption bodies and replace them with fake ones".

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrived on a visit to Lithuania on Thursday evening, officials told BNS.

His detention was the latest twist in a prolonged feud between the Ukrainian authorities and Saakashvili, who has turned on his one-time patron Poroshenko, accusing him of corruption and calling for his removal from office.


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