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Georgia's ex-president Saakashvili needs treatment abroad, doctor says - Metro US

Georgia’s ex-president Saakashvili needs treatment abroad, doctor says

FILE PHOTO: Trial of Georgia's ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili needs specialist treatment abroad, a doctor with Georgia’s human rights commissioner said on Sunday, weeks after Saakashvili ended a 50-day hunger strike in prison, Russian TASS news agency reported.

Saakashvili agreed to end the hunger strike on Nov. 20, finishing a protest that raised political tensions in the former Soviet republic and drew expressions of concern from the United States. [L8N2SA2YW]

“He now mostly needs a special rehabilitation, which we call neurorehabilitation and psycho-neurorehabilitation, which we could not find in Georgia,” TASS quoted Otar Toidze as saying.

Georgia’s human rights commissioner in November said Saakashvili needed to be moved to intensive care to avoid the risk of heart failure, internal bleeding and coma.

Saakashvili was arrested on Oct. 1 after returning from exile to rally the opposition on the eve of local elections. He faces six years in prison after being convicted in absentia in 2018 for abusing his office during his 2004-2013 presidency, a charge he rejects as politically motivated.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has said Saakashvili will not be pardoned.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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