5 Dec 2017 16:26

Ukrainian prosecutors to seek Saakashvili's round-the-clock house arrest, suspect his associate of high treason, seek his arrest

KYIV. Dec 5 (Interfax) - The crimes with which former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been charged in Ukraine give grounds for state prosecutors to ask a court to place Saakashvili under 24-hour house arrest, Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko said.

Speaking at a news briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday, Lutsenko said Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies suspect Saakashvili of aiding and abetting members of criminal organizations and covering up their activities (Ukrainian Criminal Code Article 256), which would justify requesting his round-the-clock house arrest.

Saakashvili's associate Siverion Dangadze was detained in an attempt to leave Ukraine, and documents that law-enforcement officials seized from him prove that he received funding from Serhiy Kurchenko, a fugitive associate of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Lutsenko said.

"It's been determined that he [Dangadze] was driving a car belonging to his female acquaintance in an attempt to leave Ukraine, moving at a high speed from Kyiv toward Russia. He was stopped by prosecutors and later by Security Service members at a police checkpoint near the town of Lubny. Dangadze was detained, questioned, and presented with the first notice of suspicion and is going to be presented with the second later today. All suspicions concern [Ukrainian Criminal Code] Article 110 [high treason] and Article 256," Lutsenko said.

The combination of these suspicions gives prosecutors grounds to ask a court to authorize Dangadze's arrest, he said.

"Obviously, there are going to be court hearings tomorrow, in which we will request Dangadze's non-optional arrest, as he is suspected under Criminal Code Articles 256 and 110; this is high treason, and this charge does not envision any restrictive measure other than arrest. Mr. Saakashvili will be charged under Article 256, without Article 110, which enables us - and we intend to do so tomorrow - to seek his round-the-clock house arrest with an electronic bracelet," Lutsenko said.

He said that he considers the investigation's plans lawful and substantiated.