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Saakashvili himself chose solitary cell – Georgian Special Penitentiary Service

TBILISI. Oct 13 (Interfax) – The Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia has denied information circulating in local media that former President Mikheil Saakashvili was allegedly placed in solitary confinement on purpose by a decision of the administration of a Rustavi prison.

"The prison administration offered Saakashvili to be placed with a cellmate, but he categorically refused that, as confirmed by relevant documents, and he was placed in a solitary jail cell in accordance with his wishes," the service said.

It also said that claims that Saakashvili’s supporters are allegedly unable to meet with him in a jail cell are "lies."

"Those accusations are lies, as it is proven by daily visits to him. As for Saakashvili’s personal physician, he visited him in the prison cell as an unauthorized person several times, therefore, he must apply to the Penitentiary Service with all necessary documents and explain reasons to meet with Saakashvili in order to visit him next time," the Special Penitentiary Service said.

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.