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World

REUTERS
February 13, 2018

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Saakashvili ‘kidnapped’ in Kiev

KIEV: Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili has been detained in Kiev by unknown "kidnappers", according to a post on the former Georgian leader’s official Facebook page and his spokeswoman.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the detention, but last week his lawyer warned that he could face imminent deportation or extradition after he lost a court appeal. "Unknown people in masks seized Mikheil Saakashvili and took him away... The kidnappers were in three white minivans," the Facebook post read.

His spokeswoman said he had been taken by men in green camouflage and his whereabouts were unknown. "According to some information, they were representatives of a special unit of the border service," she said, without giving further details.

The border service declined to comment when asked about the detention, but said they might have information at a later stage. Kiev police were not involved, their spokeswoman said.

President of his native Georgia for nine years until 2013, Saakashvili moved to Ukraine after a popular uprising there and served under Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as a regional governor from 2015-2016, before falling out with the Ukrainian leader. The 49-year-old, who accuses the Ukrainian authorities of widespread corruption, may face extradition after his appeal for protection was rejected by a Kiev court on Feb 5.

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