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The News in Brief

Wednesday, March 12
Igor Giorgadze says Patarkatsishvili could have been killed

Georgian business mogul Badri Patarkatsishvili did not die from a heart attack, but from a secret poison which does not leave traces in the body of the victim, former head of the Georgian Security Service Igor Giorgadze claimed in an interview with the newspaper Moscow Komsomolets.

Patarkatsishvili, who ran for president in the January election, died on February 12 in his London mansion, with preliminary reports indicating the cause of death as a heart attack.

Giorgadze, thought to be living in Moscow, is wanted by Interpol in connection with his alleged involvement in an assassination attempt against former president Eduard Shevardnadze.

“It is obvious for me that Badri died not as a result of stress…To my mind, it was a murder facilitated by the most modern ways of assassinating political opponents. Countries with highly developed technology in the sphere of medicine have the means to do this. Only five to seven secret services have the laboratories that make poison which does not leave traces in the victim,” Giorgadze said.

He suspects the Georgian government orchestrated Patarkatsishvili’s death because he became a significant political force by the end of 2007.

“Thus the second obstacle after [former prime minister Zurab] Zhvania in Saakashvili’s way has been eliminated,” the former security service head said.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgia joins NATO/ASDE

Georgia will join the NATO Air Situation Data Exchange system, allowing Georgia to immediately register and share information on aircraft in its airspace.

According to Batu Kutelia, deputy Defense Minister, joining the system will ensure the reliability of Georgian data if its airspace is violated. “After joining [the system], there will be no need for Georgia to prove violations of its airspace,” he said, in reference to multiple alleged air incursions from Russia.

Davit Bakradze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, said that the system would put the end to the era when “unidentified flying objects from neighbouring countries” flew into Georgia and Tbilisi was unable to prove it.
(Prime News)

Berdzenishvili appeals to parliament with three demands

Republican MP Davit Berdzenishvili appealed to the government with three demands he says will end the current stand-off with the opposition.

Speaking at a parliamentary session on March 10, he called for withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States, reconfiguring the electoral system and preparing a joint appeal for a NATO Membership Action Plan at the upcoming Bucharest summit.
(Prime News)

Republicans against presidential election repeat

The Republican Party supports the opposition coalition’s demands outlined in the joint memorandum submitted to authorities, but does not call for a repeat of the January 5 presidential election, party member Irakli Batiashvili said, reiterating Republican leader Davit Usupashvili’s statement on March 9.

He also said the party will not take part in the current hunger strike outside parliament.

“We demand a vote recount of the recent presidential election on January 5. [But] for us the upcoming parliamentary elections will be the second round of presidential elections. We shall not join the hunger strike as we consider it to be a radical form of protest,” Batiashvili said.

He also said the Republicans appealed to the government not to use force against the peaceful participants of the huger strike and to immediately make changes to the electoral system that the opposition is calling for.
(Black Sea Press)

Opposition demands Health Ministry keep check on hunger strikers

Opposition coalition representatives have demanded that the Health Ministry conducts daily medical checks on hunger strikers to counter rumors that they are secretly snacking at night, Conservative MP Zviad Dzidziguri told journalists on March 10.

“The Health Ministry should send doctors to give us medical exams on a daily basis. Rumors have been circulating that we eat at night. Doctors could disprove this with blood tests” Dzidziguri said.
(Black Sea Press)

President to meet teachers in Gurjaani and Telavi

President Mikheil Saakashvili was due to visit Kakheti province in eastern Georgia yesterday, to meet teachers in Telavi and Gurjaani where he was scheduled to discuss changes in the education sector.
(Prime News)

Competition on redevelopment work in outer Avlabari to be announced

Iberia Real Estate, in collaboration with the Culture Ministry and urban planning department at Tbilisi City Hall, announced a competition on reconstruction works of outer Avlabari district.

The winning company must comply with the demands of the prospective development of the city as well as within the terms of historical heritage protection.
(Prime News)