Ex-Pres. Saakashvili refusing toxicological examination, “manipulating” with claims on alleged poisoning - Penitentiary Service

The Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia on Monday said former President Mikheil Saakashvili had refused a toxicological examination. Photo: Special Penitentiary Service press office 

Agenda.ge, 20 Dec 2022 - 14:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia on Monday said the imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili had refused a toxicological examination offered by the body in November, in response to claims of his lawyers over the former official’s alleged poisoning. 

The office said following Saakashvili’s refusal, two opposition-minded TV channels - Pirveli and Formula - had used “incomplete extracts” from the domestic rehabilitation centre Empathy’s report on his condition to point to the alleged poisoning and “artificially trigger tension” ahead of court hearings on granting the former President’s release or postponement of the rest of his sentence on medical grounds.

This type of deliberate, destructive action serves to create a wrong public perception of the convict's condition and is aimed at harming the interests of the state”, the service said, stressing the report “must have been kept confidential”. 

It also noted “orchestrated moves” by Saakashvili and his entourage, which it said were also aimed at “exerting pressure” on court to achieve his release. 

A trial hearing involving Saakashvili is scheduled this week. Photo: IPN. 

We categorically urge the interested party to refrain from disclosing the fragmentary sections of the report that must be discussed in the court alone, and respect the public and constitutional order”, the agency said.

The Service also said the most recent toxicological examination on Saakashvili’s condition had been conducted in late May, with its results - made available on July 10 - showing “all indicators were normal”. 

The trial hearing on Saakashvili has been delayed to Thursday due to a refusal by doctors to allow his participation in the session in person for health reasons, and a lack of proper technical equipment at the Vivamedi civilian clinic - where the former official has been undergoing treatment since May - to ensure his engagement via a video link. 

Saakashvili, a citizen of Ukraine, was arrested in Tbilisi in October 2021 on his clandestine return to Georgia ahead of municipal elections.

The former president is serving a six-year term for abuse of power in two separate cases stemming back to his time in office, while three other cases are pending.