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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Tuesday, February 19
“Rustavi 2 journalists demand Levan Gachechiladze make a public apology”

Akhali Taoba reports that leading television company Rustavi 2 is ceasing “professional cooperation” with opposition coalition representative and former presidential candidate Levan Gachechiladze until he issues a public apology for “insulting” the station’s journalists.

In a February 14 appearance on the Rustavi 2 talk show “Prime Time,” Gachechiladze called Rustavi 2’s journalists “rubbish” and alleged they were part of the government’s public relations machine.

According to a statement released by the journalists of Rustavi 2’s “Kurieri” program, Gachechiladze repeated his accusations the next day on the state-owned public broadcaster, accusing Rustavi 2 journalists of carrying out “dirty political orders.”

Gachechiladze levied similar accusations against Rustavi 2 and the television company Mze, which is owned by Rustavi 2, during the presidential campaign.

“Staff reduction expected at Kote Marjanishvili Theater”

Layoffs are inevitable at Kote Marjanishvili Theater, artistic director Levan Tsuladze tells Sakartvelos Respublika.

“I must confess that it is very painful to tell the actors to go home. We did our best to avoid this, but it seems unavoidable,” Tsuladze said.

He plans to give raises to remaining staff.

“Until now, the theatre did not have a fund for salaries. We were meeting expenses either through loans or other resources. Now, the theater has state funding and salaries can be raised,” the theater’s artistic director explained.

The average salary for actors at Kote Marjanishvili Theater is currently GEL 400–600, according to the newspaper.

“Shalva Natelashvili accuses the administration of responsibility in Badri Patarkatsishvili’s death”

Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili extended his condolences to the family of business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, who died on February 12, Mteli Kvira writes.

“Georgia lost a huge public figure and a philanthropist. He made a historical contribution in developing democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, business, sport, city building and so on in the country,” Natelashvili said.

He accused President Mikheil Saakashvili and his political team of indirectly causing Patarkatsishvili’s death.

“Saakashvili and his criminal surrounding are, at the minimum, psychological killers of Patarkatsishvili. The repressions, persecutions, slanders, property deprivation and perpetual attempt to attack him caused the businessman to have a heart attack,” the opposition leader declared, adding that the country should punish Saakashvili.

“One brother killed another”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that 71-year-old Mamia Vashakmadze killed his 60-year-old brother, Soso Vashakmadze, in the city of Kutaisi. Family members said Mamia Vashakmadze suffered from mental problems.