Ukrainian president arrives in Lithuania

Ukrainian president arrives in Lithuania

Georgia's third President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is charged with several crimes in Georgia, has been detained by Ukrainian security forces last night in Kiev.

His overall support in Ukraine appears low - a weekend rally that called attracted only about 3,000 people.

Saakashvili then led protesters towards parliament in Kiev, calling for President Petro Poroshenko to be removed from office.

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Saakashvili returned to the spotlight as a vocal champion of the three-month street uprising in Kiev that toppled a Moscow-backed government in 2014 and turned Ukraine on a pro-EU course.

Saakashvili later said police had searched the wrong tent at the camp, continuing a surreal hide-and-seek game between him and Ukrainian law enforcement ever since he barged across the border from Poland three months ago.

The situation near parliament was calm at around 1230 GMT, although an increased number of armoured police stood guard around the building, according to a Reuters witness. Saakashvili supporters freed him from a police van after he was detained on Tuesday.

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Ukraine's prosecutor-general, Yuriy Lutsenko, said in a post on his Facebook page that "everything was done to avoid bloodshed" and that Saakashvili, who has been accused of forming a "criminal group", had been placed in a "temporary detention facility".

He is being investigated for alleged support of a criminal organization, and allegedly receiving money from deposed president Viktor Yanukovych, who is now exiled in Russian Federation, to start a coup in Ukraine. In July, Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of the Ukrainian citizenship he received on becoming governor, opening up the possibility of Saakashvili's deportation back to Georgia, where he was wanted on charges of abuse of power.

The latest arrest of the 49-year-old was confirmed by Ukrainian Attorney General Yuri Luzenko.

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