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Public Defender, Doctors Warn about Saakashvili’s Critical Condition

Public Defender’s Office reiterated that hunger-striking ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s condition is critical and warned about possible further complications, citing a new evaluation by the group of doctors convened by the ombudsperson.

The physicians paid a visit to Saakashvili after he temporarily lost consciousness and collapsed on November 18. According to their assessment, Saakashvili suffered convulsions caused by Wernicke encephalopathy – one of the complications the experts had warned about in their November 17 conclusions.

The Public Defender’s Office held the authorities responsible for the “disregard for the recommendations” of the experts, including on the transfer of Saakashvili to a multi-profile civilian hospital.

Citing the group’s assessment, the Public Defender warned Saakashvili’s condition could worsen, with the ex-President possibly developing epileptic status or falling into a coma caused by Wernicke encephalopathy, which “could end fatally.”

The statement also noted that to fully evaluate Saakashvili’s health condition, namely the focal process in his brain, complete magnetic resonance imaging, including MR venography, and electroencephalography is required.

The Public Defender reiterated the call on the Georgian authorities to transfer Saakashvili to a multi-profile, fully equipped hospital.

Saakashvili, who arrived secretly in Georgia in late September after 8 years in exile, was arrested on October 1, on the eve of local elections and has been on hunger strike since. He is convicted in two cases in absentia and faces charges in three more, including illegal border crossing. Saakashvili, originally held in Rustavi prison, was forcibly transferred to Gldani prison hospital amid his deteriorating health on November 8.

This article was updated.

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