On January 20, the Tbilisi City Court held another hearing on whether to defer or suspend the sentence of the imprisoned third president Mikheil Saakashvili, whose health has been deteriorating in custody. The next hearing session will be held tomorrow, on January 23.
- 18/01/2023 – Saakashvili’s Case Hearing Held on January 17
During the hearing on January 20, experts of the Tbilisi-based Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture – Empathy, and a nurse from the Vivamed clinic testified before the court. Saakashvili himself refused to participate in the hearing on health grounds.
Liana Chokheli, an expert-psychologist from the Empathy center, stated that Mikheil Saakashvili has a sharp decrease in productivity and motivation, as well as intellectual-cognitive and emotional will; difficulties in thought processes, neglect of interests, passivity, and inactivity. She also explained that the patient is not depressed, but rather apathetic, which is one of the signs of dementia. Liana Chokheli also stated that during the examination “there was no simulation” on Saakashvili’s part.
Giorgi Berulava, a doctor-psychiatrist, stated in court that keeping a dementia patient in custody is inadmissible. According to him, the fact that Saakashvili with the diagnosis of dementia remains in custody means that he is subject to inhumane treatment every day.
Another expert from the Empathy center, neurologist Otar Toidze, told the court that transferring Mikheil Saakashvili to a prison cell would be tantamount to his death, given the severity and progression of his disease.
Nino Pantiashvili, a Vivamed clinic nurse, did not confirm the information spread on social media by the clinic’s director, Nino Nadiradze, who spoke of a threat directed at the nurse by Saakashvili’s lawyer. The nurse also noted that Mikheil Saakashvili had not insulted her personally, although she had heard about the patient’s aggressive behavior.
On the other hand, the Special Penitentiary Service’s lawyer, Gela Nikolaishvili, told journalists that in his experience, no prisoner’s sentence was even deferred, let alone suspended, in the cases of illnesses similar to Mikheil Saakashvili’s. “I’ve had cases when this judge, as well as other judges, refused to defer sentences for prisoners suffering from serious illnesses.” he said.
- 05/01/2023 – #SaveMisha – Rallies in Support of Imprisoned President Saakashvili Held in Georgia, Abroad
- 29/12/2022 – Justice Minister, Diplomats Discuss Saakashvili
- 21/12/2022 – U.S. State Department Says Gov’t is Responsible for Saakashvili’s Treatment
- 20/12/2022 – President Zelenskyy Calls on Authorities to Transfer Saakashvili Abroad