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Ukraine's Prosecutor 'Won't Renew' Saakashvili's Curfew

Mikheil Saakashvili leads a rally demanding President Petro Poroshenko resign in Kyiv on February 4.
Mikheil Saakashvili leads a rally demanding President Petro Poroshenko resign in Kyiv on February 4.

Ukraine's top prosecutor has said he will not seek to renew a nightly curfew on opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili.

"Saakashvili has finally begun to appear for questioning so when the restrictive measure [curfew] imposed on him expires, we will not renew it. He is appearing after receiving summonses, and therefore, in my opinion, he does not need any further burden," Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko told on February 6.

The comments were later posted on Facebook by Lutsenko's spokesman.

On January 26, the Kyiv City Court of Appeals placed the former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine's Odesa region under house arrest every night until February 7 from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. It also barred him from leaving the Ukrainian capital without permission from a court or the Prosecutor-General's Office.

Ukrainian authorities have accused Saakashvili of abetting an alleged "criminal group" led by former President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia after his ouster in February 2014.

They also claim that protests led by Saakashvili in Ukraine are part of a Russian plot against the government in Kyiv.

Saakashvili has strongly denied all those charges.

Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. He lost his Georgian citizenship in 2015 when he accepted Ukrainian citizenship and took the post of Odesa governor.

He resigned that position in November 2016, complaining of rampant corruption, and has since become an ardent opponent of President Petro Poroshenko.

The 50-year-old also faces government anger in Georgia. On January 5, the Tbilisi City Court found him guilty of abuse of power by allegedly trying to cover up evidence in a 2006 murder case and sentenced him in absentia to three years in prison.

He has also denied those charges and said they were politically motivated as well.

With reporting by TASS and AFP
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