Statement of the Centre Empathy regarding the statement
of the Minister of Justice of Georgia on the health and legal state of the 3rd President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on 16/11/2021
On October 29, 2021, the Centre Empathy addressed the Director General of the Special Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Tskhvariashvili and the Head of the Medical Supervision Department Ms. Demurishvili, requesting the expert examination of Mikheil Saakashvili. To date, the group of experts has not been given possibility to conduct medical examination on the spot and get familiarized with the medical documentation in full, in particular, the medical documentation available at the Facility #18 has not been handed over to Mikheil Saakashvili’s lawyers and therefore was not provided to us.
According to the explanation of the Minister of Justice, only the persons defined under the legislation of Georgia are allowed to visit a penitentiary institution. In this regard, we declare that the group of experts of the Centre Empathy has the full right to conduct an on-site examination in accordance with the following legislative norms:
LAW OF GEORGIA CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE OF GEORGIA.
Article 21 – Expert – a natural person with special knowledge, skills and experience who, under this Code, has been invited by a party to the proceedings or by a court upon the party’s motion to carry out an expert examination and prepared a conclusion with respect to a criminal case. In addition, an expert shall assist the parties and the court in finding, examining and demonstrating evidence.
Article 144 – Grounds for ordering an expert examination:
LAW OF GEORGIA ON PATIENT RIGHTS
Chapter X – Rights of Persons Placed in Penitentiary Institutions
Article 45 :
Article 46 – Persons placed in penitentiary institutions shall enjoy all rights provided for by this Law.
Article 47 – The administration of a penitentiary institution may restrict the right to choose medical care providers for persons placed in the penitentiary institution. This decision may be appealed to court.
At the same time, we declare that the State Inspector has launched investigation under the Article 1443 of the Criminal Code (ill-treatment), which includes the episode of violence at the Facility #18. Therefore, unfortunately, according to the statement of the Minister of Justice, the Georgian penitentiary system is currently a party.
According to the statement of the Minister of Justice, only their medical services are allowed to study the state of health of Mikheil Saakashvili, the activity of the Council of physicians of the Ministry of Health has been canceled. Consequently, it became impossible to establish objective information. Hereby we explain that the health care system of the Georgian Penitentiary Service fails to ensure the professional independence of a physician, which is necessary according to the Law of Georgia on Medical Activities due to the subordination of the health care services to the Penitentiary Service.
We would also like to inform you that the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Molashvili vs. Georgia has imposed an obligation on the Government of Georgia to perform a medical examination on a parity basis.
In view of the above, we call on the Minister of Justice to act in accordance with the law, so as not to interfere with the expert examination by the Centre Empathy, as well as to establish a parity commission in order to determine the capacity of the prison hospital.
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