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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Monday, January 21

“A journalist and a cameraman died in a car accident”

Akhali Taoba reports that early on the morning of January 18, 22-year-old journalist Zura Jamaspishvili and 26-year-old cameraman Misha Okromchedlishvili, both employees of the state-owned public broadcaster, were killed in a car accident.

The accident took place in a Tbilisi suburb. Both men died before reaching the hospital.

“Mikheil Saakashvili opened a new military base in Gori”

President Mikheil Saakashvili opened a new military base in the town of Gori on January 18, Rezonansi reports.

Minister of Defense Davit Kezerashvili, Chief of the Joint Staff Colonel Zaza Gogava and deputy chair of the parliamentary Defense and Security Committee Nika Rurua also attended the ceremony.

Saakashvili, then still the president-elect, delivered a speech on the ongoing reforms of Georgia’s armed forces. He presented new American-made assault rifles to the troops, and promised fully modernized weapons and vehicles to come.

Construction on the Gori base, which accommodates 4000 soldiers across 70 hectares, began in spring 2006.

“Nino Burjanadze visited juvenile prisoners”

Nino Burjanadze, then the acting president, visited juvenile prisoners in Avchala prison on January 18, Sakartvelos Respublika writes.

She raised the possibility of pardoning some of the juvenile inmates after a review of their cases.

“Before I came here, I asked the appropriate group of people to look at pardoning the juveniles,” the newspaper quotes Burjanadze as saying. “Something that is really frustrating and alarming is that 14-, 15- and 16-year-old children are accused of very serious crimes, including murder and robbery… I want to think that most of them will rejoin society soon, and no longer be dangerous to the public.”

Burjanadze, who was accompanied by Georgian athletes on the visit, brought sport equipment as gifts.

“Jondi Baghaturia protested delay in delivering pensions”

Opposition coalition member Jondi Baghaturia held a “mini-protest” on January 18 outside the head office of the People’s Bank, according to Akhali Taoba.

Baghaturia, the leader of the Georgian Troupe movement, was protesting an apparent delay in distributing pensions this month.

The People’s Bank president came out to tell demonstrators that pensions, after a small delay, are now being delivered.