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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Georgia. Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has interrupted his hunger strike in prison

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The former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, after more than five weeks decided to end the hunger strike, the RIA agency reported on Thursday, citing Saakashvili’s lawyer. This week, the politician, who has been in custody since October, went to the prison hospital.

Mikheil Saakashvili’s trial began on Wednesday over a case in which he is accused of abusing power in 2007. The investigation has been going on for eight years, says Echo Kawkaza. Prison services decided that the politician would not be taken to court for security reasons and due to his health condition.

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The lawyer of the politician, Bek Basilai, emphasized that the health condition of the former Georgian president is serious, but the politician could and would like to take part in the trial. On Friday, his lawyer said Saakashvili had interrupted a hunger strike that began after he was arrested and incarcerated in Rustawi prison more than five weeks ago. It is not known whether the reason for his decision was his deteriorating health.

Mikheil Saakashvili paparazzza / Shutterstock

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Return to the homeland and arrest

In early October, Mikheil Saakashvili returned to Georgia to – as he said – mobilize his supporters to participate in local elections. On the same day, he was arrested and imprisoned, and the authorities announced that he could not count on pardon or extradition to Ukraine.

The politician returned to Georgia despite the final and binding prison sentences. In the years 2004-2007 and 2008-2013 the president of Georgia was convicted of abuse of power while in office. He himself believes that the criminal cases initiated against him after opponents from the Georgian Dream party came to power are politically motivated.

Correctional facility where Saakashvili is being heldPAP / EPA / ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

Saakashvili’s supporters protest in front of the Tbilisi justice ministry PAP / EPA / ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

Former president in the prison hospital, protests in the streets

Saakashvili, considered a political prisoner, became Mr.transported to the prison hospital in the capital of Georgia. Ukraine’s foreign ministry, of which Saakashvili is now a citizen, said on Monday that it was disappointed with the transfer of the former Georgian president to a prison hospital in Tbilisi without informing the Ukrainian side about it. It added that it created additional risk and tension, and called for him to be transferred to a civilian hospital.

Protests by Saakashvili’s supporters are ongoing in Georgia. On Wednesday, the police informed that Tbilisi had detained several dozen participants in the action in defense of the former president. The demonstrators demanded that the politician be transferred from a prison to a civil hospital.

Saakashvili’s supporters protest in Tbilisi Reuters

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE



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