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Georgia sets up team of doctors to monitor Saakashvili's health while on hunger strike

TBILISI. Oct 13 (Interfax) – Georgia has set up a multispecialty group of doctors to analyze the health condition of the jailed ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili who went on hunger strike, Justice Minister Rati Bregadze said.

The ministry also asked the national ombudsman to regularly monitor Saakashvili’s legal situation, Bregadze said at a briefing on Wednesday after meeting with parliamentarians, Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze and ombudsman Nino Lomjaria.

The inmate’s rights in Georgia are ensured to the highest standards, Bregadze said.

Earlier on Wednesday, he asked the parliamentary committees on human rights and healthcare to make sure Saakashvili’s rights in custody were protected to ensure greater transparency for the public.

Bregadze sent a similar request to the ombudsman and asked the health minister to form a multispecialty medical team for periodic observation of Saakashvili’s health and issuing advice where necessary.

Saakashvili, former Georgian president and currently a citizen of Ukraine, secretly arrived in Georgia from Ukraine on September 29. He was detained in Tbilisi on October 1 and is currently being held in a Rustavi prison.

Georgia earlier declared Saakashvili wanted as a person convicted in absentia in several criminal cases and treated as a suspect in some others. The Georgian authorities warned repeatedly that he would be detained immediately after he crossed the border. Saakashvili has described his detention as unlawful and the charges brought against him as falsified. He has declared a hunger strike.