Sky News has learned that Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, is near death in the hospital where he was released from prison.
The former leader gave a warning to Georgians in rare media access after days of demonstrations that had broken out across the country.
Last month, an appeal hearing heard from an expert who claimed that Mr Saakashvili was poisoned in prison.
Georgian authorities deny that possibility and won’t allow him to be transferred to Europe for treatment.
Sky News was denied entry to the hospital, but Sky News was able to ask Mr Saakashvili via his lawyer and received handwritten replies.
When asked how close he was to death, Mr Saakashvili replied: “It was 120 kg at first, but now I’m 64. If I become less 60 doctors, multiple organ failure is likely.”
He spoke out about his health and said that he is in constant bed, as his bones are deteriorating and it causes excruciating pain.
Shalva Khachapuridze, his lawyer, stated that the client’s condition is getting worse every day.
Sky News’ Mr Khachapuridze said, “It is an awful scene.” “He looks like a prisoner in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany.”
The message was sent by Mr Saakashvili to the thousands of protestors who were on the streets protesting new laws that are perceived as pro-Russian.
He wrote to Sky News, “Be very vigilant, be prepared to mobilize at short notice because of the revengeful mood of the Oligarchs’ Regime.”
Zelenskyy, and Macron are both
The controversial bill has been withdrawn by the government.
The West closely monitors what happens to Mr Saakashvili and interprets it as a sign that the country is loyal to Russia or Europe.
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke out about Mr Saakashvili’s fate this week. He said: “Former political figures in Georgia, who are being held and in poor health, should be released or the health condition checked.”
In February, a European Parliament resolution demanded his release. It warned Georgia that the issue would be viewed as a “litmus-test” for its commitment towards European values.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, called last month for the release the ex-Georgian leader.
President Zelenskyy stated that “Right now, Ukrainian citizen, ex-Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, is being slowly murdered.”
“Ukraine offered solutions. I appeal to the world for help in saving [Saakashvili]’s life and preventing his execution.
Mikheil Saakashvili was a young, dynamic politician who rose to prominence during the 2003 “Rose Revolution”, when Georgians rose up against Russian dominance.
He was a hero to the West because he resisted aggression from Moscow which sent tanks into Georgia.
He was charged with abuse of power, and his administration was overshadowed when he was accused that he planned to kill opponents while in custody.
Government is doing everything Mikheil Saakashvili needs.
The ruling Georgian Dream party insists that Mr. Saakashvili should serve his sentence. He is currently receiving sufficient care. According to authorities, his inability to eat enough food is the root of his health problems.
Sky News’ Maka Botchorishvili, Georgian Dream MP, stated that “we hope it (his death), will not occur and that his needs are properly addressed.”
“We believe that the government does everything Saakashvili, a Georgian prisoner, has absolute rights too,” she stated during a Tbilisi interview.
“Whatever he requires, it is done. Health-wise… and for the needs that are there.”
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Watch claim that the Georgian government denies him “adequate health care” which puts him at serious risk of death.
The Georgian public defender appointed a group of medical experts to confirm the severity of Saakashvili’s condition and recommend urgent changes to his ineffective treatment.
Poland and Ukraine offered Mikheil Saakashvili medical care.
The Georgian government claims he is not as sick as he claims, and that his release could lead to instability in the country.
If they are right, and he is very close to death, the consequences of his impending death could severely hamper the country’s chances at joining the European Union.
The fate of the ex-Georgian leader is a matter of grave concern.