Georgia ex-leader Saakashvili deported from Ukraine to Poland

Kiev (AFP) - Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who fell out with Ukraine's leader Petro Poroshenko, was deported to Poland on Monday, the country's border guard service said.

Saakashvili had been residing in Ukraine "illegally" and was therefore sent to the country where he initially came from, the service said in a statement.

Saakashvili, who had been stripped of his passport, broke through the Ukrainian-Polish border with the help of his supporters in September last year and since then has led rallies calling for Poroshenko's ouster.

The 49-year-old, who stands accused of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russia, was stripped of his Ukrainian passport in 2017.

A pariah of the Kremlin after Georgia fought a short war with Russia in 2008, Saakashvili was a vocal champion of a popular uprising in Kiev that toppled the Moscow-backed government in 2014.

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

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