Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1 and has been on hunger strike ever since has stated that he is ready to receive medication ‘to stay conscious’ and ‘keep sanity’. As the ex-president vowed, even though he agreed to pharmacological intervention, he will not take food in any form and will not stop the hunger strike as long as he is imprisoned. Saakashvili has stressed that despite his condition, he is ‘more optimistic than ever.’
Saakashvili Agrees to Hospitalization and Receive Medical Treatment
By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, October 21
According to Saakashvili's personal doctor Nikoloz Kipshidze, the ex-president’s health condition has significantly worsened in prison. He stated that Saakashvili has thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, and that hunger is not advised for him.
As one of the members of the med council, Zurab Paghava noted on Tuesday, the council recommends placing Saakashvili in hospital for prophylactic purposes and intensive care ‘since the probability of complication is high.’ After visiting the ex-president yesterday, Saakashvili's doctor announced that he is ready to be hospitalized.
The former president of Georgia was charged with the abuse of authority in absentia back in 2018 and sentenced to six years in prison. He was also charged with four other cases such as the illegal takeover of property, embezzlement of budget money in large quantities, violent dispersal of a rally and illegally crossing of the border.
On October 19, Opposition MP Salome Samadashvili voiced an initiative to allow Saakashvili to appeal the verdict made in his absentia, to release him and his sentence to be postponed before the court's decision.
According to Samadashvli, per the European Convention standards, a person should have the right to attend his trial, therefore she claims that Saakashvili should be given the right to appeal the verdict as he did not attend court hearings. Samadashvili also believes that the Georgian parliament should also discuss legislative changes regarding the prosecution of former high-ranking politicians.
Saakashvili was officially charged with illegal crossing of the Georgian state border yesterday. According to his lawyer Beka Basilaia, Saakashvili ‘deliberately chose the hardest, most difficult and heroic way to return to Georgia’ and it does not matter ‘whether the guard checked the passport or not.’