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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 23
New Border Police order prohibits possession of over GEL 15 when on duty

The Head of the Border Police of Georgia, Lieutenant-General Badri Bitsadze, has issued a special order designed to expose and prevent possible corruption at the border checkpoints.

Black Sea Press has been told by the Border Police of Georgia that from October 21 border guards on duty at checkpoints will be prohibited from carrying more than GEL 15 or any foreign currency with them. The border guard is obliged to make a corresponding note in a special registry log if they have any other money with them at any time for any reason. The Internal Inspection and Investigation-Intelligence Office of the agency will ensure the order of the Head of the Border Police of Georgia is followed.

The General Inspection of the Ministry of Interior of Georgia has reported a number of corruption cases among Georgian-Azerbaijani border checkpoint officers. According to some Georgian media sources, the arrests of the border officers were part of a “political campaign” against Chief of the Border Police of Georgia Badri Bitsadze, who is the spouse of the ex-Ppeaker of Georgian Parliament Nino Burjanadze, now in opposition. (Black Sea Press)

Pupil Registration begun in Georgian schools

The process of registering pupils in Georgian schools has been launched by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and the Civil Registry Agency of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.

“We will create a new database of over 600,000 pupils. It is important that the aforesaid process is carried out directly in the schools,” Giorgi Vashadze, Head of the Civil Registry Agency, stated at a news conference on Wednesday. Vashadze said that from now on, all pupils over the age of 14 will be issued free IDs, while those under 14 will be registered at their parents’ address and will be given personal numbers. Information about the school and grade of a pupil will also be included in the registry.

According to the Ministry of Education, the database will help various agencies effectively implement their programmes. (Black Sea Press)

Bakradze: Death of Dutch journalist proves Russia’s guilt

Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze believes that the findings of an independent commission set up to inquire into the death of a Dutch journalist during the aerial attack on Gori will help the Georgian side prove that the Russian Army committed war crimes against the civilian population of Georgia in August, as he told Rustavi 2 during his visit to the Netherlands.

On August 12, 2008, a missile attack carried out in Gori as part of Russia’s military aggression against Georgia killed 5 peaceful civilians, including a Dutch journalist, RTL cameraman Sten Storimans. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, referring to the independent commission’s report, says that the journalist died in an attack involving Russian SS-26 Iskander ballistic missiles equipped with cluster warheads, in a square surrounded by houses in a peaceful town. Due to the use of banned cluster bombs, five people died and a number of civilians received wounds.

“This was the conclusion of an independent commission, specially set up by the Dutch side. It proves that Russia used cluster weapons against civilians, against the peaceful population. This is a crime, a war crime. This finding of the aforesaid commission will help us to make Russia bear responsibility for its war crimes against civilians,” Bakradze said.

According to the Georgian Parliament Speaker, the Dutch side will take certain steps to address this crime within international organizations, and directly in bilateral talks with Russia. “We will discuss this issue during our meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands today,” Bakradze said.

David Bakradze arrive in the Netherlands from Brussels, where he attended the European Parliament session. He is expected to hold meetings with the Parliament Speaker, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Parliamentarians in the Hague. The death of the Dutch journalist and Georgian-Russian relations will be the dominant themes of the meetings. (Black Sea Press)