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Jailed Georgian Ex-President Saakashvili Needs Hospital Treatment, Says Doctor

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo)
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo)

Jailed former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on a hunger strike since October 1, needs treatment in hospital as his condition is worsening, his doctor said in an October 10 television interview.

Saakashvili declared a hunger strike after he was arrested on October 1 and incarcerated in the city of Rustavi, hours after he announced he had returned to Georgia following an eight-year absence.

Saakashvili was convicted in absentia in 2018 for abuse of power during his presidency, charges he says were politically motivated.

He had lived in Ukraine in recent years, but last month announced plans to fly home for the October 2 local elections despite facing prison, claiming he wanted to help "save the country" amid a protracted political crisis.

Nikoloz Kipshidze, Saakashvili's doctor, said that he had been discussing his condition with doctors at the prison where he is being held, not far from the capital, Tbilisi.

"I spoke with them for half an hour about how to get through this night. I plan to visit him again tomorrow. We will probably need to transfer him to hospital," the doctor said on Georgian television.

The Georgian Justice Ministry later denied the lawyer’s comments and said that Saakashvili’s “health condition is satisfactory.”

It added that Saakashvili was receiving proper medicines and that his vital signs are “normal.”

With reporting by Reuters

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