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Press Scanner

Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, April 17
Press Scanner has a new format: Our summary of the story at the top, followed by translated excerpts from the story. As before, the headline is a verbatim translation from the original Georgian-language article.

“Irakli Okruashvili: Saakashvili and Merabishvili planned the murder of Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili!”

Akhali Taoba covers an interview ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili gave to a Russian newspaper from Paris, where he is under house arrest awaiting extradition proceedings. Okruashvili, who faces a corruption conviction in Georgia, reportedly alleged that the president and the interior minister conspired to assassinate late Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili:

“They also made a decision to kill 10–15 people. The majority of the murdered people were not famous ones and they lived abroad,” Okruashvili said during his interview with the Russian publication Vlast.

He also commented on the British police officials’ conclusion regarding Patarkatsishvili’s death.

“Scotland Yard would not have behaved differently because they did not want a second scandal to emerge after Litvinenko [former officer of Russian Federal Security Service, who escaped prosecution in Russia and received political asylum in Great Britain. He died from lethal poisoning by radioactive polonium-210 in 2006],” the ex-minister said.

He also said he was sure that Saakashvili will be on trial by 2012 and will have to confess everything.

“Canceled and restored again”

On April 15, Minister of Culture, Monument Protection and Sport Nika Vacheishvili announced that 100 libraries would be repaired throughout Georgia, according to Sakartvelos Respublika:

“A new state program is being launched, according to which in various regions of the country approximately 100 new libraries will be built and the remaining ones will be modernized and rehabilitated. Most importantly, these libraries will be provided with new books,” the minister said.

Nika Vacheishvili also promised library employees he would increase their salaries soon.

“Demanding salaries from Patarkatsishvili’s family”

Akhali Taoba reports that several hundred people protested in front of the house of late Georgian billionaire and former presidential candidate Badri Patarkatsishvili. Protestors were demanding back-pay for their work on Patarkatsishvili’s campaign for the January 5 presidential election:

“We asked the head of the campaign headquarter to give us our money, and he told as to approach the businessman’s mother. We are really sorry that Batono Badri is not alive anymore, but we just want to know whether we will receive the sum or not,” one of the protestors, Leila Abuladze, said.

She added that about GEL 6.6 million, which should be paid out to 8000 people, is already transferred but they still have not received the money.

“Republican Party presented its majoritarian MP candidate from Samgori district”

Rezonansi reports that on April 15 the Republicans presented Guliko Zubadze as their candidate for the majoritarian parliamentary seat in Tbilisi’s Samgori district:

“She is very strong and educated woman. I am sure that she will be serious competition for her opponents,” Tinatin Khidasheli of the Republican Party said on Tuesday.

“I hope I will achieve victory in the elections, and I will do my best to achieve my goal. I know perfectly well what problems the district’s people have,” Zubadze stated.

On the same day, the party presented its campaign headquarters on Kalaubani Str., #10, Samgori district.