Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili responded to Russian opponent Alexei Navalny when he called on Georgian authorities to release the politician from prison for treatment. The declaration of the former head of state was published on his Facebook page (owned by Meta*).
The message on behalf of Saakashvili expresses the wish of Navalny, who is serving a sentence in a colony, “to survive, to be free and to achieve the desired goal”.
“With Alexei Navalny, in my opinion, the future president of what will soon remain of Russia, I have two things in common: that we are both equally irreconcilable with corruption and that we are both the main enemies of Vladimir Putin,” he added. statement says statement.
Earlier, a call appeared on Navalny’s social media on behalf of the opponent, calling on Georgian authorities to release Saakashvili for treatment. The statement noted that the situation around the former Georgian leader “reduces (the country’s) chances of having a normal future”.
Alexei Navalny has been in detention since January 2021. He is serving a sentence in the Yves Rocher case in a strict regime colony in the Vladimir region. Separately, in March 2022, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison in a donation scam and contempt of court case. In the colony, the opponent is regularly sent to a disciplinary cell under various pretexts. In recent weeks, Navalny’s lawyers and supporters have said his health has been deteriorating.
Mikheil Saakashvili has been detained in Tbilisi since autumn 2021. The politician was arrested on previous convictions after illegally crossing the border and returning to Georgia. After the court verdict, Saakashvili was imprisoned in Rustavi prison, where he repeatedly went on hunger strikes. Since May 2022, Saakashvili has been at the Vivamed clinic in Tbilisi. In January 2023, we learn that the politician was transferred to intensive care.
In December 2022, American toxicologist and narcologist David Smith told a court hearing that traces of heavy metal poisoning were found in Saakashvili’s body. Colleagues and relatives of the politician suggest he could have been poisoned in prison. In February 2023, Saakashvili appeared in court via video link and showed the extent of his exhaustion. Despite the arguments of the ex-president and the testimony of doctors, the Tbilisi court refused to satisfy the lawyers’ request to transfer the politician to a clinic in Berlin for treatment.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said Saakashvili’s trial discredits the country, prevents it from developing relations with partners and from obtaining candidate status for European Union membership.
In February, the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution demanding that Saakashvili be released and allowed to undergo medical treatment abroad. Furthermore, EP MEPs have warned that if the ex-Georgian president dies in prison, the EU legislature will never vote for the country’s membership of the European Union.
*Meta’s Facebook and Instagram activities are recognized as extremist in Russia and prohibited
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Source: The Eastern Herald