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article imageUkraine drops nocturnal curfew for Saakashvili

By AFP     Feb 6, 2018 in World

Ukraine's public prosecutor said Tuesday that a nighttime curfew for opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili, accused of plotting a coup, had expired and would not be renewed.

Former Georgian president Saakashvili has "finally started coming to his questioning sessions" so "we shall not be extending" his nocturnal house arrest, prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko was quoted as saying by his spokesperson on Facebook.

Kiev's appeals court had Friday slapped a 10:00 pm to 7:00 am curfew through to Tuesday on Saakashvili, who stands accused of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russia.

The ruling also barred Saakashvili from leaving Kiev without the permission of a court or the prosecutor's office.

Saakashvili said the appeal court decision was designed to restrict his political activity but vowed to continue his efforts to oust Ukrainians President Petro Poroshenko, whom he accuses of corruption.

Ukrainian prosecutors allege that Saakashvili cooperated with allies of former president Viktor Yanukovych, who is currently in hiding in Russia, and that he took money from the Russians.

Saakashvili, 49, entered Ukrainian politics after serving as president of Georgia following the Georgian "Rose Revolution", which he spearheaded in 2003.

A pariah of the Kremlin after Georgia fought a short war with Russia in 2008, Saakashvili was a vocal champion of the three-month uprising in Kiev that toppled the Moscow-backed Yanukovych government in 2014 and turned Ukraine towards a pro-EU course.

Poroshenko rewarded Saakashvili for his efforts by appointing him governor of the important Black Sea region of Odessa in 2015 before the two men fell out and his Ukrainian passport was annulled. He was arrested in December.

He is also wanted in his native Georgia for alleged abuse of power.

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