Saakashvili refuses to be tested for poisoning without Western experts' participation

Saakashvili refuses to be tested for poisoning without Western experts’ participation

Saakashvili refuses to be tested for poisoning without Western experts' participation

Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili is refusing to undergo toxicological tests without the participation of foreign experts in the evaluation, Georgian Health Minister Zurab Azarashvili said.

“The state can take care about every inmate’s health, including Saakashvili’s, but he is refusing, in particular, toxicological tests by Georgian experts from the Samkharauli bureau and insists that the evaluation be conducted by foreign doctors,” Azarashvili told a briefing on Monday.

The Georgian Special Investigation Service also issued a statement on Monday saying that Saakashvili is refusing any tests for toxicological poisoning performed by employees of the Samkharauli evaluation bureau.

The ex-president’s lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze on December 24 said Saakashvili did not trust the doctors from the Vivamedi clinic and the penitentiary service.

“Saakashvili in the Vivamedi clinic, where he was being treated, refused to undergo new tests for heavy metals in his body on Saturday. It is totally unclear why the investigator from the Special Investigation Service Vasil Kakashvili intended to take hair and nail samples from Saakashvili today,” Khachapuridze told reporters.

On December 22, U.S. psychiatrist Eric Goldsmith said at a court hearing of the possible deferral of prison terms for Saakashvili that he examined him in August and diagnosed rapidly developing dementia against the background of poisoning with heavy metals.

The doctor said he believed the patient could not stay in prison in such condition and said he needed to be sent abroad for treatment.

In the meantime, Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling party Georgian Dream, told reporters last week Saakashvili was “somewhat poorly simulating” a serious condition.

The next hearing of the case involving a possible deferral of imprisonment for Saakashvili will be held in the Tbilisi City Court on December 29.

On Monday, some 20 members of various NGOs held a rally in front of the building of the Georgian president’s residence in Tbilisi demanding that President Salome Zourabichvili issue a decree to pardon Saakashvili. Georgian opposition politicians made a similar demand to Zourabichvili last week.

Saakashvili secretly arrived in Georgia on September 29, 2021, and was detained in Tbilisi on October 1. Shortly after that, he found himself in a prison in the city of Rustavi, where he went on a hunger strike. On November 8, 2021, without the consent of his relatives or lawyers, Saakashvili was transferred from the Rustavi prison to the prison infirmary in Tbilisi’s Gldani neighborhood. On November 20, 2021, Saakashvili was transferred to a military hospital in Gori, where he ended his hunger strike. He was then transferred to the Vivamedi civilian clinic in Tbilisi on May 12, where he is currently staying.

Several criminal cases were opened against Saakashvili in Georgia. He called his detention unlawful and the charges brought against him falsified.


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