Justice minister: “slanderous campaign” over poisoning of ex-pres. Saakashvili “immoral”, “interference” in doctors’ work

Justice minister Rati Bregadze on Tuesday said the imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili had been offered to invite “any doctor, from any foreign clinic” to follow his instructions while treatment in Georgia. Photo: justice ministry press office 

Agenda.ge, 29 Nov 2022 - 18:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s justice minister Rati Bregadze on Tuesday called claims about poisoning of the imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili a “slanderous campaign” and said the allegations were “immoral” and an “interference” in the work of medical professionals working to ensure his health.

Bregadze was responding to the claim made by Saakashvili’s lawyer, and said the imprisoned former official was being provided with care by professionals of the Tbilisi-based Vivamedi clinic. He also said the patient was given food only by his “trusted persons”, including family members.

The minister added his office had applied to the national forensics bureau to assess Saakashvili's health condition and an examination was scheduled, but added the former official had refused a toxicological examination.

Arrested in Tbilisi on his clandestine return to the country ahead of October 2021 municipal elections, Saakashvili has claimed his former 49-day hunger strike and “improper treatment” while in custody have “seriously deteriorated” his health.

Facing several charges, he is currently serving a six-year prison term after he was sentenced in absentia in 2018 on two separate charges of abuse of power.

Saakashvili was transferred from the No. 12 Prison in the city of Rustavi to the civilian clinic Vivamedi in capital Tbilisi in May, following an offer for the transfer from the justice ministry, made after demands on the matter from the former president’s medical team and a part of political opposition.