Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been abducted from Gori Military Hospital in eastern Georgia, Saakashvili’s defense lawyer Nika Gvaramia said in a Facebook post made on Dec. 30.
Saakashvili was taken to an unknown location, Gvaramia wrote. The former Georgian president’s state of health condition was also unknown, Gvaramia said.
Earlier Saakashvili’s partner, Ukrainian MP Yelyzaveta Yasko, said that Saakashvili had been forcefully transported to Rustavi Prison. The former Georgian president had been serving a prison sentence in Rustavi before he went on hunger strike.
Saakashvili served two consecutive terms as president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. From 2015 to 2015 he was the Governor of Ukraine’s Odesa Oblast. In 2020 Saakashvili was appointed to the Executive Committee of Ukraine's National Reform Council. He holds Ukrainian citizenship.
Saakashvili secretly travelled to Georgia from Ukraine, hidden in a vegetable truck, in late September, returning to his native country after eight years in political exile. On Oct. 1, Saakashvili publicly announced his presence in Georgia and called upon his supporters to come to a protest. He was detained in Tbilisi in the evening of the same day.
The Georgian General Prosecutor said Saakashvili had been sentenced to six years in prison. He was then transported to Rustavi prison, where he went on a 50-day hunger strike.
Saakashvili also faces charges of abuse of power and for illegally crossing the border.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said it would demand the politician’s return to Ukraine, but Tbilisi has already ruled this out.