Russian special services may assassinate Saakashvili to destabilize situation in Ukraine - prosecutor
Russian special services are trying to access the leader of the Movement of New Forces party, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, and his associate, Severin Dangadze, in order to clarify the details of their communication with runaway Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, the prosecutor's office has said.
"One of the options to destabilize the situation in the country could be an attempt by Russian special services assassinate Saakashvili and Dangadze," the prosecutor said on December 11 during a session of the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv, which was choosing a measure of restraint for Saakashvili.
Referring to the main office of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) in Kyiv and Kyiv region, the prosecutor said: "The Russian special services are taking steps to access Saakashvili and Dangadze through their agents in Ukraine in order to clarify the details of conversations between him and Kurchenko and to further identify of Russian citizens who might be involved in documenting the criminal activities of Kurchenko, Saakashvili and Dangadze."
For this reason, the prosecutor asked the court to choose the measure of restraint for Saakashvili in the form of round-the-clock house arrest.
As reported, on December 5, Saakashvili was detained, but his supporters blocked the police van and "freed" him. The politician was placed on the wanted list.
Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said that Saakashvili had received $500,000 from Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, who is hiding in Russia, for his activities in Ukraine and demonstrated an audio recording in support of his words. Saakashvili said that he was not familiar with Kurchenko. His associate, David Sakvarelidze, claimed that the recordings were fake and intended to submit them for foreign examination.
Saakashvili was detained again late on Friday, December 8. The case on Saakashvili was opened pursuant to Part 2, Article 256 of the Criminal Code (assistance to participants of criminal organizations and concealment of their criminal activity), which envisages from five to ten years of imprisonment. After his arrest, he was taken to the SBU's detention center in Kyiv, where he went on a hunger strike.
Early on Monday, December 11, Saakashvili was taken to the building of the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv. Late on December 11, the court refused to grant the motion submitted by the prosecutor's office to choose a measure of round-the-clock house arrest to Saakashvili.