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Poland offers to provide medical help for jailed Georgian ex-president

The spokesperson for the Polish Government, Piotr Müller, said on Monday that a Polish humanitarian-medical mission is ready to go to Georgia to provide needed medical care to the former president of the country, Mikheil Saakashvili.

“At the moment we are awaiting the Georgian side to formally assent to this,” said Piotr Müller, saying that at the Polish end, all the formalities have been completed.

“We hope to receive this assent. If the Georgian authorities have nothing on their conscience, I see no reason why they should not give it,” added the Polish government’s spokesperson.

He added that the healthcare being provided to the former Georgian leader “raises serious doubts in the international community”.

“We are ready to clarify these doubts by sending a medical mission directly to Georgia,” said Müller.

Mikheil Saakashvili was detained back in October 2021, upon his return to Georgia after eight years in exile. In 2018, a Georgian court sentenced him in absentia to six years in prison on the charge of abuse of power while in office. Saakashvili denies these charges, stating that they were politically motivated.

In November 2021, Saakashvili was moved to a prison hospital following a hunger strike and reports of deteriorating health. Doctor David E. Smith and his team established in a toxicological report published on November 28, 2022, that nail and hair samples collected from Saakashvili contained traces of heavy metals and other substances, and the symptoms shown by the former President fit those of a person suffering from heavy metal poisoning, moreover that this would have taken place during his imprisonment and is the cause of his rapidly deteriorating health.

In December 2022, the Georgian Empathy Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture NGO published a report on Saakashvili’s health based on a medical examination carried out by a commission made up of ten Georgian and six foreign experts.

The report diagnosed Saakashvili with more than 20 medical disorders, including 10 serious in nature, and established that his state of health makes him unfit to remain in prison.

In spite of this, on February 6, 2020, a Tbilisi district court rejected Saakshvili’s appeal for release or for the deferment of his incarceration on the grounds of poor health. Saakashvili made numerous requests to be allowed to go abroad in order to receive adequate medical treatment. Poland was one of the countries that expressed willingness to provide needed care for Saakashvili.

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