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The Daily Beat

The Daily Beat: 4 April

A group of doctors invited by the public defender published a conclusion on Saakashvili’s health condition, noting the worrying deterioration of his medical records since their last visit in February. According to the doctors’ conclusion, Saakashvili suffers from severe sarcopenia, muscle loss, severe stage 4 cachexia, and orthostatic hypotension. Doctors reported further weight loss of 4 kg, primarily due to significant muscle loss, making it difficult for Saakashvili to move and causing low blood pressure. The doctors also warned that if Saakashvili loses any more weight, he will be bedridden.

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Following their visit to Georgia, the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) issued the statement, urging the Georgian authorities and all political forces to implement the EU’s 12 conditions. A statement by the PACE co-rapporteurs called for holistic reforms in the judiciary, investigation of intensified attacks against CSOs, and depolarization, expressing concerns about the draft de-oligarchization law and the health of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili. PACE co-rapporteurs, Claude Kern and Edite Estrelahave, conducted a fact-finding visit to Georgia in late March, focusing on the recent developments in the country.

While speaking with journalists in the western Imereti region, the EU Ambassador to Georgia, Pavel Herczynski, appeared hopeful about Georgia’s EU candidate prospects, describing it as another step toward the country’s EU membership. “The 27 member states of the European Union have decided to grant Georgia a European perspective; the work is ongoing on implementing 12 priorities; this is still a work in progress. We will assess this progress later this year, and 27 member states will decide on the next steps in December,” the ambassador said. Pavel Herczynski also spoke of EU membership benefits for Georgia, such as peace, prosperity, and rising living standards. Ambassador’s optimism could be underpinned by leaked Brussels reports, indicating Georgia’s increased chances of obtaining the EU candidacy at the end of the year.

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) issuedstatement on Lazare Grigoriadis’s case, highlighting possible rights violations based on publicly available information. In its statement, GYLA called on the Special Investigation Service and the Public Defender to act appropriately by their mandate. “We believe that the developments around Lazare Grigoriadis will significantly limit his right to a fair trial,” the GYLA statement reads, calling the government officials to refrain from discriminatory remarks and respect the presumption of innocence. According to the statement, GYLA believes that the court failed to justify the need for Lazare Grigoriadis’s preventive detention, and public comments by high-ranking officials may have adversely affected Lazare Grigoriadis’ right to a fair trial.

A former high-ranking security official and the man who might be behind many leaks of compromising evidence against the government, Soso Gogashvili, was found guilty on all five counts and sentenced by the Tbilisi City Court to five years in prison. A former deputy head of state security service, Soso Gogashvili, was arrested during a late-night raid by special forces at his home. The prosecutor’s office charged him with abusing authority, obtaining, storing, and disseminating personal data using one’s official position. Gogashvili denied the allegations against him and shared more revealing information while in prison. He implicated the Georgian Dream patron, Bidzina Ivanishvili, in the 2017 kidnapping of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli. He also accused Ivanishvili of threatening to “destroy the family.”


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