Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili arrested in Kiev, deported to Warsaw

Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013, was arrested today in a SWAT-like raid at a restaurant in Kiev, Ukraine's capital, and deported to Warsaw, Poland. This signals an end to what Reuters described as a protracted "cat-and-mouse game" between the politician and the host government. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko originally invited his former supporter and ally Saakashvili into the country and later appointed him as Odessa's governor in May 2015. The two men subsequently had a bitter falling out, with Saakashvili accusing the president of corruption. Last July, the government revoked Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship which was granted in 2015, and a court earlier this month determined that he had to go. Another court ruled that the former Georgian leader had illegally entered Ukraine from Poland in September. Saakashvili quit as Odessa's governor in November 2016 in his ongoing dispute with Kiev authorities and became an aggressive voice for the opposition.

Since Saakashvili, 50, automatically lost his Georgian citizenship when he was granted the equivalent by his adopted country, he is now considered stateless. He nonetheless faces criminal charges in Georgia for allegedly abusing his pardon powers while in office, allegations that he rejects as politically motivated.

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