Mikheil Saakashvili at the Tbilisi Court, November 29 (Imedinews photo).

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, was given “anti-psychotic drugs” while in custody without a medical need, according to an organization involved in his defense, while his lawyer adds “suspicions grow” this might be done deliberately to impair his mental health.

The Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture “Empathy”, which is actively involved in the defense of Mikheil Saakashvili, says that at its insistence, the penitentiary has discontinued giving the third president of Georgia anti-psychotic medications.

“The misuse of anti-psychotic drugs against a detainee is considered by international standards to be a method of pharmacological torture and, in many cases, is intended to harass and subdue a person,” says head of Empathy, Mariam Jishkariani, in a statement issued Monday.

The center’s doctors have diagnosed Mikheil Saakashvili with “Neuroleptic syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder related to torture and inhuman treatment, as well as the neurological symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy caused by forced prolongation of starvation as a result of ill-treatment and inadequate medical intervention.”

According to the center’s experts, Saakashvili still needs inpatient multidisciplinary treatment and rehabilitation, especially in the neuro-psychological direction.

The center thinks it would be life-threatening and inadmissible to return the ex-president to a prison cell at this time.

Saakashvili’s lawyer also confirms that the ex-president was given strong medication in a way that it might not have been necessary.

“Naturally, suspicions grow that the authorities have tried to weaken Mikheil Saakashvili to some extent or to limit his skills so that he would not be able to go to court, at best. In the worst case, there were plans to go even further,” said the lawyer, Shota Tutberidze.