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Compiled by Etuna Tsotniashvili
Thursday, September 25
David Bakradze threatens MPs

Speaker of the Parliament Davit Bakradze has threatened to impose financial sanctions on Georgian MPs who miss Parliament sessions, but he has not yet done so, Akhali Taoba reports. In this Parliament such a sanction would rarely be needed because MPs obey the law and there is never a problem achieving a quorum.

MP Magda Anikashvili has demanded that the Anti-Crisis Group debates the liberalization of the penal system. She believes that Parliament should increase its control over the penal system. However Speaker Bakradze states that MPs can enter the prisons without problem.

“A lot of things should be done concerning the penal system. We plan to discuss the issue of integrating the Prosecutor General’s office with the Ministry of Justice, where one of the main issues is discussion of the penal system,” Bakradze said.

Law confirms territories as “occupied”

24 saati reports that the law “On Occupied Territories” was presented to Parliament by Pavle Kublashvili on September 23.

On October 10 President Saakashvili asked Parliament to declare the Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions as occupied territories. Russian troops were at that point stationed in Igoeti and Poti. According to the new draft law, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, including Alkhalgori and Upper Abkhazia, are declared to be “territories occupied by Russia.” Occupant

After this law comes into force the de facto Governments of these regions will be treated as occupying administrations.

Kazakhstan will not build refinery in Batumi

The Kazakh state oil and gas company “KazMunaiGas” has dropped its plans to build a USD 1 billion oil refinery in Georgia’s port town of Batumi, Akhali Taoba writes.

According to Reuters this decision has no connection with the political situation in Georgia. “We have a lot of interest in many different projects but we rely on economic feasibility when choosing which ones to further,” an anonymous source told Reuters. “So you should not drag politics into this one....our experts have carefully studied it and decided that it is not feasible.”

Plans for an oil refinery in Batumi first emerged in March 2007, when KazMunaiGas went into partnership with the Greenoak Group, the then owner of Batumi oil terminal and sea port. In February 2008 however the Greenoak Group sold both the oil terminal and sea port to KazMunaiGas for an undisclosed sum.

Kazakh Agriculture Minister Akylbek Kurishbayev recently told lawmakers that Astana has also dropped plans to build a grain terminal in Poti, citing “the current situation in Georgia.”