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21 Nov, 2022 09:54

Former president of Georgia responds to rumors of poisoning

Mikhail Saakashvili says his health problems should not be politicized
Former president of Georgia responds to rumors of poisoning

Former president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, who remains in custody in his home country on multiple charges, has dismissed speculation he was poisoned.

Last week, Saakashvili’s lawyers and his mother claimed that medics had discovered traces of mercury and other high-density metals in his system.

“I want to state that I never told any of my lawyers that there were suspicions of me being poisoned. Any speculation regarding this issue are inappropriate,” the politician wrote on Facebook on Monday.

“My health has really been getting worse, especially in the past two months,” Saakashvili said, but added that “there is no need to politicize this issue.”

The 54-year-old also thanked the medics at a clinic in Georgia's capital Tbilisi, where had been treated since May following his hospitalization as a result of a lengthy hunger strike.

Georgia’s interior minister Rati Bregadze said on Sunday that the prison authorities had not received any reports of Sakkashvili’s suspected poisoning and promised to order a medical examination of the politician.

Saakashvili has been detained since October last year after his secret return to Georgia amid an election being held in the country. Georgian authorities accuse the ex-president of abuse of power, embezzlement and other offenses during his time in office between 2004 and 2013.

He was also responsible for sending Georgian troops to attack the breakaway republic of South Ossetia in August 2008, which provoked a short military conflict with Russia after its peacekeepers stationed in the area came under fire.

In 2015, Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship and was assigned the job of the governor Odessa Region. He resigned a year later, accusing the Kiev government of being corrupt.

According to his lawyers and family, the politician’s health has deteriorated drastically while in prison, with him having lost 20 kilograms and being unable to move his left arm. They claimed that Saakashvili had been diagnosed with at least 17 various diseases, including tuberculosis and dementia. The ex-president’s supporters demand that he be sent abroad for treatment.