Rinkevics calls on Georgian authorities to provide proper medical care to Saakashvili

  • 2023-02-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) has called on Georgian authorities to provide proper medical care to former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Rinkevics wrote on his Twitter account that he is becoming more and more worried about Saakashvili's health.

Therefore, the minister calls on the Georgian authorities to provide proper medical care to the former president and avoid his condition from worsening.

The AFP news agency reports that a Georgian court on Monday rejected ailing ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili's bid to get a six-year sentence for alleged abuse of office deferred over poor health.

The 55-year-old pro-Western reformer has been in hospital since last year after refusing food for 50 days to protest his detention, which rights groups say is politically motivated.

The ruling came days after Saakashvili's doctor and lawyer said he risked death due to critical weight loss behind bars.

Saakashvili -- who founded the country's main opposition force, the United National Movement (UNM) -- was convicted in absentia for abuse of office and sentenced to six years in prison in 2018.

He was arrested in 2021, days after secretly returning to the Caucasus country from exile.

His jailing has sparked the biggest anti-government protests Georgia has seen for decades, with tens of thousands taking to the streets.

On Monday, Tbilisi city court judge Giorgi Arevadze ruled to "reject the petition" by Saakashvili's lawyers to defer the sentence.

"I've basically got a death sentence and will stay in prison with all the lethal diseases," Saakashvili said on Facebook.