21 Feb 2023 16:43

Saakashvili determined to have prison term deferred, be allowed to get medical treatment abroad in appeals court

TBILISI. Feb 21 (Interfax) - Defense lawyers for former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili have filed a motion with an appeals court to review a first-instance court's judgment to deny him a deferral of his prison term because of serious health issues.

"We hope for a revision of the Tbilisi City Court's judgment, as the judge ignored Mikheil Saakashvili's serious health problems," lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze told journalists on Tuesday.

If an appeals court does not rule in Saakashvili's favor, his defense team will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, he said.

The proceedings on a possible deferral of Saakashvili's prison sentence started in December 2022. The court questioned over 20 doctors, including foreign healthcare professionals, who examined Saakashvili at the Vivamedi clinic. All of them said they diagnosed him with suffering from a number of serious diseases and insisted that he had to be freed from detention and transferred abroad for treatment.

Tbilisi City Court Judge Giorgi Arevadze ruled on February 6 to disregard the conclusions by foreign doctors and keep Saakashvili in prison.