Saakashvili flies to Netherlands after expulsion from Ukraine to Poland

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Bekeshkina said "many Ukrainians share the demands" of protests led by Saakashvili's party. "They didn't show any identification".

By deporting him to Poland, President Petro Poroshenko may have managed to get rid of his arch-enemy Mikheil Saakashvili for now. "He is a wheeler-dealer who wants to ruin Ukraine". "I have bodyguards. Those who detained me acted like Nazis and used violence against me", Saakashvili said.

In the latest chapter of a high-profile, months-long saga, Saakashvili was arrested Monday by masked men at a restaurant in Kiev and put on a plane to Poland so quickly that his supporters hardly had time to do anything about it.

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Saakashvili served as Georgian president from 2004-2013, was tapped by Poroshenko to head Ukraine's economically important Odessa region in 2015 but quickly fell afoul of his former university classmate over corruption claims and accusations that Poroshenko was blocking much-needed reforms in favour of powerful organised crime interests in Odessa.

"Such actions should not have been carried out against Saakashvili, but unfortunately they were", his spokeswoman said by telephone.

Saakashvili said he planned to "go on a tour of Europe" to raise support for his campaign to topple Poroshenko and his government in Kyiv. She said Saakashvili's supporters would gather outside the presidential administration in Kiev at 1630 GMT to protest against his treatment.

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Ukrainian prosecutors accuse Saakashvili of having assisted a criminal organisation - a charge that is widely seen as trumped up.

The Ukrainian government refrained from arresting Saakashvili to avoid turning the former Georgian politician into a cause celebre, and to avoid global condemnation for holding a political prisoner.

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