Special Penitentiary Service releases explanation on ex-president Saakashvili's case
Special Penitentiary Service releases explanation on ex-president Saakashvili's case

The Special Penitentiary Service gave an explanation in connection with the alleged poisoning of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili due to the high level of public interest.

According to the statement, on May 31, 2022, the Vivamedi clinic conducted a toxicological assessment at the Mrcheveli laboratory to check the health of the jailed Mikheil Saakashvili. The findings obtained on June 10, 2022, show all indications within the norm.

Further, the official body outlined the timeline of complaints about the alleged poisoning of Mikheil Saakashvili stated by his attorneys starting from November 19, 2022, and the steps performed by the Special Penitentiary Service in this respect.

“On November 22, 2022, the correctional service requested a chemical-toxicological examination to the LEPL Levan Samkharauli National Forensic Bureau (NFB), which was authorized,” the statement reads.

However, the Special Penitentiary Service reports that Mikheil Saakashvili declined the proposed examination on November 24, 2022, thus trying to “manipulate public perception.”

The state agency highlighted media coverage of an “incomplete excerpt from the expert opinion performed by the Empathy Center, which was meant to be confidential,” saying it was aimed at presenting the situation as though convicted Saakashvili was poisoned, and this form of planned, harmful behaviour seeks to establish an incorrect public perception of the convict’s condition and is intended to hurt the state’s interests.”

The Special Penitentiary Service claims that “artificially aggravating the issue is yet another attempt to create tension before the court hearings, which is clear evidence of pressure on the court.” The agency urged all stakeholders to desist from distributing fragments of confidential information to respect society and the constitutional order.

Given Saakashvili’s rapidly deteriorating health, the Georgian court is considering whether his sentence should be suspended or deferred. The next hearing date is scheduled for December 22.