Mikheil Saakashvili’s lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze announced on 14 December that the ex-President has begun a new hunger strike after the Special Penitentiary Service and the Vivamedi Clinic claimed today that due to technical reasons they were unable to connect Saakashvili to his own hearing as he has repeatedly requested.
As part of the announcement, Khachapuridze read a letter by Saakashvili, which contended, “Today, I was denied the most basic right to attend my own trial.” Pointing out that this is a “violation” of Georgian and international norms, Saakashvili underscored that as a result he is “forced to resort to the extreme form of protest, a hunger strike.”
“Of course, given my current state of health, I am aware of all the risks, but I will starve myself until I can get solid guarantees to at least attend my own trial through a video link,” the ex-President stressed. “There is a limit to every kind of ridicule and humiliation.”
The subject of today’s hearing was to continue deliberations on whether Saakashvili’s sentence should be suspended or deferred as a result of his rapidly deteriorating health condition.
For weeks, both international and Georgian experts, as well as the lawyers and supporters of the ex-President, have warned that Saakashvili faces dozens of diagnoses and symptoms which may lead to a fatal outcome.
Notably, the Georgian Dream party has maintained that Saakashvili is not being honest about his actual condition and is refusing to cooperate with doctors on purpose to secure his release from prison.
The next hearing has been scheduled for December 22, 2022.
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