Arsenic found in Saakashvili’s body, lawyer says

A medical examination of former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, who is currently serving time behind bars, has revealed the presence of arsenic in his body, his lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze said on Monday, SIA refers to foreign media.

"We have not yet received nail tests, those will arrive later today, but news came over the phone that another toxic element - arsenic, was found during the examination," Mtavari television quoted the lawyer as saying.

Later on Monday, Saakashvili is expected to appear at a court hearing in the case of border trespassing, he added. "So that we do not cause any disruption in the trial, he decided to appear in court," Khachapuridze explained. He also said Saakashvili was in serious condition and that he would need a wheelchair.

Earlier, Saakashvili’s lawyer Valery Gelbakhini and the ex-Georgian president’s mother Giuli Alasania said he might have been poisoned with heavy metals, including mercury. They referred to a medical report by the Empathy NGO that has not been published yet and is currently being readied for submission to foreign experts. Authorities in Georgia have urged people not to jump to conclusions about a possible poisoning of the former Georgian leader.

Saakashvili secretly arrived in Georgia a day before municipal elections in October 2021, after which he was detained and put behind bars in Rustavi. He called himself a political prisoner and announced a hunger strike. He was transferred to a military hospital later, and in December he was returned to the Rustavi jail.

The former Georgian president has repeatedly said he has developed severe medical conditions while in jail.

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