TBILIS, Georgia ( Associated Press) – Georgia’s main opposition party has asked a court to release former President Mikheil Saakashvili for medical examination abroad after suffering poisoning.
The United National Movement indicated that Saakashvili’s condition “could lead to coma and death” and that he should be referred to a top-level clinic in the United States or the European Union.
Saakashvili, who served as head of state from 2004 to 2013 and led the so-called Rose Revolution opposition that toppled the previous president, left Georgia for Ukraine at the end of his second term and subsequent abuse of power. Convicted in absentia and sentenced to up to six years in prison.
He was arrested in October 2021 after returning to Georgia to try to bolster opposition forces ahead of upcoming nationwide municipal elections.
In a statement released last week, the United National Movement, which is led by Saakashvili, said that while the former president was in generally good health at the time of his arrest, he had since suffered weight loss, musculoskeletal pain and muscle wasting. Is. which may be the result of an infectious process that has not yet been diagnosed and/or possible poisoning.”
The party insisted that a toxicological test showed that Saakashvili had high levels of barium, bismuth and mercury. They said the former president likely suffered a spinal injury while in prison and developed severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to the statement, the findings were based on an examination conducted by Georgian and foreign experts through the Center for Empathy, a Georgian anti-torture NGO.
The government has not responded to the court’s request. But Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, said there was no reason to release Saakashvili.
“We cannot destabilize the country. We are being asked to make this decision politically, to release Saakashvili, to destabilize the country and of course we cannot make such a decision,” he was quoted by Rustavi-2 television channel. was.