The MPs will be able to visit the convicted ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili in the Tbilisi Vivamedi civilian clinic only after obtaining a special permit, per the decision of parliament speaker Shalva Papuashvili.
A statement published on the website of the parliament of Georgia on Friday said the speaker had made the decision based on the request of the Minister of Justice and “in the interests of protecting Saakashvili's privacy”.
It also noted since October 3, 2021, 228 permits had been issued by Papuashvili for MPs to visit Saakashvili in order to familiarize themselves with the conditions of the former official in detention, while legislators were using the opportunity for “other, personal goals”.
“It should be pointed out that, together with the special penitentiary service, the convict's lawyers, who have made 533 visits to Saakashvili, are monitoring the proper conditions of serving the sentence”, said the parliament press office,
The domestic laws allow the president, the speaker of the parliament, the prime minister and the public defender to enter the penitentiary without a special permit. Per the same Prison Code, the speaker of the parliament can grant the right to enter the penitentiary institution once to any member of the body.
“This is called repression, a violation of legal norms, which will be reported to the whole world, - Shalva Khachapuridze, Saakashvili’s lawyer said in response to the decision.
“The major goal of the fight is Saakashvili’s death”, he added.
Khatia Dekanoidze, an MP of the United National Movement opposition party said by the decision, as well as the recent postponement of the trial hearing on Saakashvili’s release on medical grounds to January 9, aimed at “fully isolating” the third president, which was expected to further complicate his health.