The messenger logo

Lawyers Request to Grant Saakashvili Victim Status

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, January 20, 2022
The lawyers of the imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili have filed a suit at Prosecutor’s Office to recognize Saakashvili as a victim of “inhumane and degrading treatment.” According to his lawyer Nika Gvaramia, the recognition as a victim will allow them to have full access to the material of the case of video footage of the former president in prison facilities, released by the Justice Ministry and the Penitentiary Service of Georgia in November.

As the State Inspector’s Service determined on December 3, the justice ministry and the Penitentiary Service of Georgia had violated the law on personal data by releasing videos of Saakashvili receiving food and supplements while on hunger strike, as well as another footage which shows Saakashvili being transferred from Rustavi prison to the Gldani Prison hospital on November 8. However, earlier this month Tbilisi City Court annulled the State Inspector’s Service decision regarding the two institutions, claiming that footage had been justifiably published due to ‘significant public interest’ towards Saakashvili’s case.

Public Defender Nino Lomjaria announced yesterday that the request to grant Saakashvili a victim’s status is fair and substantiated. She noted that to issue the relevant recommendation the Public Defender’s office needs to study the case materials and get more information.

Lomjaria and the team of medical experts presented the final report on Wednesday regarding jailed ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s health condition. Lomjaria said that her team visited Saakashvili three times after he ended the hunger strike and according to her, no significant changes have been revealed in treatment methodology.

The Public Defender noted that Saakashvili is undergoing medical treatment, however, the recommendations of the medical group of experts issued in November are still unfulfilled.

Lomjaria explained that they are not going to arrange an additional visit unless the situation is changed significantly in terms of both the treatment methodology and the patient's health.

For the full rehabilitation of the patient, the group of experts considers it necessary to provide Saakashvili with the following treatment: Psychotherapy — which is the first-line treatment of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and is likely to help restore an adequate diet; Physical rehabilitation; MRT examination; Neurological monitoring and electroneuromyographic examination in case of progression.