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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Wednesday, February 20
“Nugzar Ashuba: not recognizing Abkhazia’s independence will be amoral behavior!”

Akhali Taoba reports Abkhaz de facto parliamentary speaker Nugzar Ashuba as saying the international community would be morally remiss in not recognizing Abkhazian independence after doing the same for Kosovo.

“The recognition of Abkhazia’s independence would make the situation in the South Caucasus stable, and this would be very good for Georgia as well, because the country will calm down and take care of its internal problems,” the separatist official said.

He added that Abkhazia is confident that Russia will remain as a guarantor of peace in the Caucasus and all of Eurasia.

“Zviad Dzidziguri: Levan Gachechiladze will not make a public apology to Rustavi 2 journalists”

Opposition coalition representative Zviad Dzidziguri tells Sakartvelos Respublika that coalition member and former presidential candidate Levan Gachechiladze will not apologize to the journalists of Rustavi 2.

The television station’s journalists are demanding a public apology from Gachechiladze after he called them “rubbish” on a Rustavi 2 talk show.

Dzidziguri says Gachechiladze’s comments were not directed at all journalists.

“But it is doubtless that all journalists must have their own opinion, and must not fulfill so-called political orders,” Dzidziguri said.

“Iulon Gagoshidze to go with President Saakashvili to Moscow”

Akhali Taoba reports that newly-appointed State Minister for Diaspora Issues Iulon Gagoshidze will accompany President Mikheil Saakashvili on a trip to Moscow this week.

The state minister is planning to meet with representatives of the Georgian diaspora in Russia.

“In the presidential program ‘Georgian without poverty,’ Georgian diaspora representatives must be more actively involved,” Gagoshidze said, suggesting that the state can do a better job of organizing the resources Georgians abroad send home.

“Scrap iron thief let free”

The Justice Ministry dropped all charges against a detained juvenile on February 18, Kviris Palitra reports.

Several months ago, police arrested 16-year-old Tamaz, whose surname has been withheld, on charges of stealing scrap iron from a neighbor’s yard.

The boy’s state-appointed lawyer asked for the case to be dropped, as the neighbor did not press charges.

The lawyer works with the non-government Legal Aid Service, which has represented 408 juvenile clients since it was founded in July 2007.