There is no precedent in Georgia for transferring a convicted prisoner abroad for medical treatment, Justice Minister Rati Bregadze said on Thursday in reference to calls from a part of the political opposition to enable the imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili to receive medical service abroad.
There is no precedent for this and the law does not allow a convicted prisoner to be taken abroad. [...] We will always act in strict compliance with the law and, of course, in accordance with the recommendations of doctors,” the Minister told Imedi TV.
On Thursday, Saakashvili was transferred from the No. 12 Prison in the city of Rustavi to the civilian clinic Vivamedi in capital Tbilisi, following an offer for the transfer from the Justice Ministry, made after demands on the matter from Saakashvili’s medical team and members of a part of political opposition.
The Ministry has also expressed “full confidence” in “medical institutions licensed in Georgia and their medical staff,” in response to the demands of Saakashvili’s supporters of his transfer for treatment abroad.
Saakashvili, who currently holds Ukrainian citizenship, is serving a sentence for abuse of power stemming back to his time as President. He was detained after his clandestine return to Georgia in October last year, prior to the 2021 municipal elections.