Saakashvili at center of political situation whirling out of control

2017/12/5 15:08:53

Analyst: “…we believe the U.S. government will be highly dissatisfied with his extradition. If that doesn’t happen promptly, his incarceration could escalate the protest movement.”


Editor’s Note: The situation is continuing to develop rapidly. Based on televised reports at the time of this publication, the SBU appears to have released Saakashvili in order to quiet almost riot conditions but will almost certainly make further attempts to detain and extradite him. The conditions around the parliament increasingly give the appearance of a second Maidan developing.

KYIV, Dec 5, 2017 - Mikheil Saakashvili, among the leaders of the tent city protest launched outside of Ukrainian parliament in mid-October, was arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine the morning of Dec. 5, Concorde Capital informed clients in an online advisory. He was named a suspect in supporting members of criminal organizations and concealing their criminal activity. A lawyer who was present for the arrest said Saakashvili was informed that he was named a suspect in supporting the overthrow of the state regime, the news site said. Saakashvili was arrested after SBU officers broke into his apartment located in central Kyiv.


Ukrainian President Poroshenko has already arranged for his extradition to Georgia, where he faces criminal charges, Saakashvili told protestors on Dec. 3. It will occur next week based on false criminal charges, he said, adding that he will reject any plea deal to extradite him to a European country. “When a ruling was reached in Georgia – and now they want to blackmail me with my deportation to Georgia based on this ruling – I said that I will go to Georgia,” he said, as reported by the news site. “Let my supporters in Georgia prepare for my arrival.”


Concorde analyst Zenon Zawada added: “These events should dispel the conspiracy theory that Saakashvili is controlled opposition for the Poroshenko administration. Instead our view has been since he burst across the Polish-Ukrainian border in September that Saakashvili has the tacit support of the U.S. government for his protest activity (among other possible backers). We believe he has been a political instrument for the U.S. intelligence services to pressure the Poroshenko administration into fulfilling the demands of Western institutions. We believe it’s no coincidence that his arrest comes as the U.S. has intensified its pressure on the Poroshenko administration for undermining the activity of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.


“Poroshenko’s worst nightmare is a repeat of the Maidan, in which tens of thousands gather to demand Saakashvili’s release just as they had for former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. So we are confident that Saakashvili will be convicted and extradited to Georgia in quick time, just as he had himself foreseen. It’s not clear yet whether this will lead to intensified protests, or whether this will serve to cut off their momentum. However, we believe the U.S. government will be highly dissatisfied with his extradition. If that doesn’t happen promptly, his incarceration could escalate the protest movement.




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