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Georgia's jailed ex-president transferred to clinic for treatment

12 May 2022 - 12:02 By Reuters
In written answers to Reuters' questions last month, Saakashvili said he was seeking "urgent medical help" for what he said was ill-treatment in prison, something the Georgian authorities have denied.
In written answers to Reuters' questions last month, Saakashvili said he was seeking "urgent medical help" for what he said was ill-treatment in prison, something the Georgian authorities have denied.
Image: 123RF/ALLAN SWART/ File photo

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was transferred to a private medical facility for treatment on Thursday after his health significantly deteriorated in prison following two hunger strikes.

A lawyer for Saakashvili said his legal team was aware that he had been transferred to a clinic in the capital Tbilisi but said it had not received any information about his health from the penitentiary service.

The 54-year-old was detained in October last year upon returning to Georgia after years of exile to rally the opposition on the eve of local elections.

Saakashvili, who implemented pro-Western reforms over nearly a decade in office, was charged in absentia in 2018 of abusing his office during his presidency, charges he rejects as politically motivated.

In written answers to Reuters' questions last month, Saakashvili said he was seeking “urgent medical help” for what he said was ill-treatment in prison, something the Georgian authorities have denied.

Saakashvili said his time in prison had left him with a “heavy neurological condition.”

The former president's family and supporters have urged the authorities to authorize him to travel abroad for medical treatment.  

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