Public Defender’s Statement on Medical Council Created for Managing Mikheil Saakashvili's Health

The Public Defender is responding to the various opinions expressed around the multifunctional council created by the Ministry of Justice and believes that the Ministry of Justice/Special Penitentiary Service should ensure the full protection of Mikheil Saakashvili's health and make the work of the multifunctional council more systematic and effective.

A kind of working protocol should be developed for the council, which would determine the frequency of visits to be paid by the council to the patient, the issues of initiating the council meetings (taking into view the positions of the patient, his personal doctor and lawyers), the exact mandate of the council, the legal status of their reports, etc. It is also necessary to revise the composition of the council and expand the circle of specialists in accordance with the new needs emerged.

The Public Defender’s Office has been closely observing the work of the council and fully relying on its reports and recommendations during monitoring. When inspecting Medical Establishment No. 18, the Public Defender’s Office assessed the degree of compliance of the establishment with the needs indicated in the reports of the council.

So far, no reason has been identified that would give the Public Defender's Office grounds for doubting the principled, competent, highly professional activities of the multifunctional council.

Thus, the Public Defender believes that the current multifunctional group should not cease to function, but continue its activities in a more multidisciplinary and intensive manner, while the Ministry should ensure that regular visits and effective activities of the council do not encounter bureaucratic obstacles.

In addition, the Public Defender notes that the Public Defender's Office cannot replace the responsibility of the State in the context of caring for the health of the prisoner and cannot determine the patient’s treatment tactics. The Public Defender monitors the protection of rights by the State and will continue to work only within the mandate in the future.

The Ministry of Justice/Penitentiary Service should continue to take full care of the prisoner's health, including by taking into account the recommendations of the multifunctional council created by them. At the same time, the Public Defender is ready, if necessary, in parallel with the work of the multifunctional council, to use the supervisory authority granted by law and ask relevant specialists/experts to provide medical consultations in order to prepare expert opinions and recommendations on the patient's health.

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