Georgian court rejects ex-president’s appeal for release
MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Georgia on Monday rejected an appeal for former president Mikheil Saakashvili to be released from prison on health grounds.
Saakashvili, who served as Georgia’s president in 2004-13 and led the so-called Rose Revolution protests that drove the previous president out of office, left for Ukraine after the end of his second term. He was later convicted in absentia of abuse of power and sentenced to six years in prison.
He was arrested in October 2021 after returning to Georgia to try to bolster opposition forces before nationwide municipal elections.
He went on hunger strikes after his arrest and is currently in a private clinic. His supporters say he should be released for medical examination outside Georgia because of concerns that he is suffering from poisoning by heavy metals.
They cite doctors’ assessments that he appears to have developed dementia. However, other doctors and Georgian authorities claim that Saakashvili was engaged in self-harm and is disobeying doctors.