Georgia’s ailing ex-leader Saakashvili appeals for release

“SOS. I am dying, I have very little time left,” wrote Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili in a hand-written note to the French president.

Saakashvili, 54, has been in a Georgian jail for more than a year, convicted of abuse of power while in office.

A court in Tbilisi is due to consider whether to suspend his sentence or release him on humanitarian grounds to let him have medical treatment abroad.

He hopes the international community will press Georgia to release him.

Last seen in public at a court hearing in April, the former president has reportedly suffered significant weight loss and is unable to move without assistance. He is expected to attend Wednesday’s court hearing in the capital remotely.

Following two hunger strikes against his imprisonment, Saakashvili was transferred to the private Vivamedi Clinic in Tbilisi in May 2022 and has been confined to a room there.

Empathy, an organisation supporting victims of torture in Georgia, alleged on 1 December that he had…

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