Mikheil Saakashvili's brother David commented on the incarcerated politician's health after the former’s speech in court, broadcasted via video link on July 3, 2023. Saakashvili is currently on trial for dispersing a rally in 2007, when he was president of Georgia.
The footage shows an emaciated Saakashvili: before his arrest, the politician weighed 116 kilograms (255.7 pounds) at a height of 195 centimeters (6′4″). In February 2023, he weighed 67 kilograms (147.7 pounds), indicating a loss of close to 50 kilograms (110 pounds).
During a court hearing shown on television Monday, Saakashvili lifted his shirt to show his ribs protruding from his chest, a hollow abdomen, and skin clinging tightly to his bones.
“This is a result of the way he was treated, the conditions he was in for many months. There is a possibility that Mikhail was poisoned, which history will probably prove later. The situation is really not the best, the weight is terrible, I'm not ready to say exactly how many kilos Mikhail weighs now, but the fact is that he continues to lose weight and is on his way to death,” commented Saakashvili’s brother David to Ukrainian online newspaper Strana.ua.
Mikheil Saakashvili served as president of Georgia from 2004 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2013.
Saakashvili actively supported the Euromaidan movement and the change of power in Ukraine in 2014. In 2015, he was appointed as an adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and was also granted Ukrainian citizenship, which caused him to renounce his Georgian citizenship.
The politician returned home in October 2021, and was immediately arrested as a Georgian court had sentenced him to six years in absentia back in 2018, finding him guilty of the abuse of office. By May 2022, the former president's health was so compromised that he was transferred to a hospital. His diagnoses included dementia and “body intoxication,” and he had lost more than 40 kilograms (88 pounds).
Saakashvili claimed that he had been poisoned, and asked the head of the Bellingcat investigative journalism group Christo Grozev to investigate the attempt on his life.