Hunger-striking former Georgian leader needs hospital treatment -doctor

FILE PHOTO: Georgia's former President Mikheil Saakashvili speaks with journalists after his meeting with members of Ukraine's Servant of the People parliamentary faction in Kiev, Ukraine April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Jailed former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on a hunger strike, needs treatment in hospital as his condition is worsening, his personal doctor was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on Sunday.

The pro-Western politician, who declared a hunger strike on Oct. 1, was arrested after secretly returning to Georgia, having lived abroad for years. Georgia sentenced him in absentia in 2018 for abuse of power and concealing evidence when he was president.

Nikoloz Kipshidze, Saakashvili's doctor, said that he had been discussing his condition with doctors at the prison where he is being held, not far from the capital Tbilisi.

"I spoke with them for half an hour about how to get through this night. I plan to visit him (Saakashvili) again tomorrow. We will probably need to transfer him to hospital," the doctor was quoted as saying on Georgian television.

(Reporting by Hugh Lawson)


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