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The Georgian president from January 20, 2008 to November 17, 2013, Mikheil Saakashvili, was poisoned with heavy metals in prison and risked death if he did not receive proper treatment.

This is stated in a medical report released today by his lawyers, AFP reported, quoted by BTA.

Fifty-four-year-old Saakashvili, who is the opposition leader in his homeland, was hospitalized last year after a 50-day hunger strike.

Thus, he protested against being sent to prison on charges of abuse of power, which he said were politically motivated.

Mikheil Saakashvili agreed to end his hunger strike

In the report published today by Saakashvili's lawyers, American toxicologist David Smith says that the former Georgian leader underwent tests that showed the presence of heavy metals in his body.

Mention is made of mercury and arsenic found in the former president's body after his poisoning.

The authors of the report, dated Nov. 28, say the treatment Saakashvili is now receiving is harming him because it is not being administered under proper medical supervision.

"Without adequate treatment, there is an increased risk of death," the document says.

According to Smith, Saakashvili appears to have been denied such treatment or unavailable in Georgia.

The Georgian authorities assure that Saakashvili is receiving all necessary health care.

And Georgian President Salome Zurabishili said justice must decide whether Saakashvili should be released on medical grounds.

Another doctor, Marian Jishkariani, who heads the medical council that examined Saakashvili, said that he was diagnosed with brain lesions and intoxication that damages the nervous system.

He suffers from serious illnesses that are incompatible with the conditions under which he is serving his sentence, she added.

According to Tengiz Tsuladze, a member of the medical council appointed by the Georgian Ombudsman, Saakashvili lost nearly 40 kilograms during his detention.

Saakashvili was detained in October 2021, a few days after he returned to his homeland from exile lasting several years.

He was wanted by Georgian justice for abuse of power.