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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Friday, February 22

“Five Georgian citizens accused of robbery in Ukraine are arrested”

Akhali Taoba reports that Ukrainian police in the city of Donetsk arrested five Georgians in their early 20s on charges of robbing apartments.

Ukrainian police offers said the thieves were clever operators, according to the newspaper. Their cunning scheme, the paper reveals, involved living in different flats and using only taxis to travel.

Police found tools used for breaking and entry when searching the five; the Georgians refused to speak to police, claiming they don’t know Russian.

“Representative of Russian peacekeeping forces arrested in Batumi port”

Georgian border police arrested a man taking photos of ships docked in seaside Batumi, Akhali Taoba reports, later learning that their detainee was a Russian citizen serving in the CIS peacekeeping mission in Abkhazia.

CIS representatives said the soldier had abandoned his post.

On February 19, he was handed over to CIS forces in the presence of UNOMIG representatives.

“The new Dezertir Market opens in Tbilisi”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava attended the opening of the new Dezertir Market in Tbilisi on February 19.

Located at 186 Tsinamdzgvrishvili Street, the new market is 1 800 square meters and houses 400 vendors.

“Not far from here,” Ugulava said at the market’s opening, “there was a former Dezertir Market but as the building was critically damaged the owner decided to pull it down. Everyone will see now that this market is comparatively civilized and comfortable.”

“New draft of Adjara constitution”

The Supreme Council of the Adjara Autonomous Republic voted 23 to 1 to adopt a new draft constitution, Sakartvelos Respublika reports.

Council members say the new constitution is based on democratic principles and similar to Georgia’s state constitution, but the paper does not provide further details.

Murman Dumbadze, an oppositional Republican member of the Council, cast the sole opposition vote, saying that the autonomous republic’s new constitution would hand over more power to the central government.

“In this case this is one person: President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili,” Dumbadze said.

The draft constitution will be sent to the Georgian parliament for ratification.