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The News in Brief

Friday, December 5
Former PM establishes new party

Zurab Noghaideli, a former Prime Minister and once ally of President Saakashvili, announced that he was establishing a new opposition party called Movement for Fair Georgia on December 3.

In a press statement Noghaideli said that his party sought to prevent the “inevitable” political and economic crisis the country faces as a result of the authorities’ inappropriate policies and “management.” MP Petre Mamradze, who just recently quit the ruling party; former lawmakers Shota Gvenetadze and Eduard Surmanidze, former Deputy Chief of the Tax Department Koba Abuladze and Levan Roinishvili are among the members of the new party.

Talking to journalists Mamradze claimed that if Noghaideli had been Prime Minister in August, there was “a high probability” that the Georgian Government would have not yielded to Russia’s provocation and war would have been averted, “because Noghaideli is a person who would have spoken out firmly against it.” Noghaideli slammed the current Government for leading the country into war and criticized President Saakashvili and his administration.

Noghaideli was Georgia’s Prime Minister from February 2005 to November 2007, mainly overseeing economic policies. In March 2008 he became Chairman of Kala Capital, a financial group owned by Georgia and AC Milan footballer Kakhi Kaladze. He quit the business in September however after he lashed out at the authorities, accusing them of failure to avert the war.
(The Messenger)

Georgian Navy to be part of IM

The Navy of Georgia will be transferred from the Defence Ministry to the Border Police department of the Interior Ministry, Civil Georgia informs. This legislative change was supported by the Judicial Committee of the Parliament of Georgia at its first reading. The transfer must be carried out by February 1.

As Deputy Chairman of the Judicial Committee Murtaz Zodelava, who was one of the initiators of the bill, stated, the change would be undertaken according to the recommendation of international experts and was aimed at combining sea defence functions in one department.

On December 2 the Parliament of Georgia passed a package of legislative changes, which envisaged greater integration of the Border Police with the Interior Ministry. Under the new amendments a particular border defence function might be reallocated to another structural sub-unit of the Interior Ministry of Georgia, on the order of the Minister of the Interior.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian Police Major is detained on suspicion of drug dealing

The General Inspection of the Interior Ministry of Georgia has detained Major Gocha Bulashvili of the Kvemo Kartli region police on suspicions of the illegal purchase, possession and sale of narcotics. According to the police’s information, 10 packets of heroine were discovered during a search of the detainee.

The case is being investigated pursuant to Article 260 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – illegal purchase, possession and sale of a large quantity of narcotics whilst occupying a post in public service, which offence carries a penalty of imprisonment for from 8 to 20 years or without limit.
(Black Sea Press)

Russia and West must not return to “Cold War” – Italian Parliamentarian

Russia and the West must not return to “Cold War” times, the Chairman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament Stefano Stefani has told RIA Novosti. “We must not return to the sort of relations existing during the “Cold War,” Stefani said.

Speaking about the resumption of work on the basic partnership agreement between Russia and the EU, Stefani noted that “we must move more rapidly in this regard.” As far as the events in Georgia in August are concerned, the Italian Parliamentarian expressed his assurance that the truth about those events would become known in the end. “After the conflict I talked with representatives of Russia and Georgia, trying to clear up the situation. Regretfully, not everyone in the West has understood what happened there in reality,” he added.

Stefani emphasized the role the EU played in the settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. He estimated highly the efforts of President Nicolas Sarkozy and also expressed hope that the European Monitoring Mission in the security zone of Georgia will yield positive results.

While answering RIA Novosti’s question about perspectives on the accession of Georgia and the Ukraine to NATO, he noted that “ they understood in Brussels that much, very much time must pass before these countries’ accession to the alliance.”

Last week Stefani received representatives of the de facto authorities of the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia, Inal Pliyev and Maria Kotayeva, who went to the Italian capital specifically to meet him.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian cinematographers claim Kusturitsa will shoot dishonest conflict film

Georgian cinematographers believe that famous Serbian film producer Emil Kusturitsa will shoot an “unobjective” film about the events in August in Tskhinvali region.

“We, Georgian film producers, must send a letter to Emil Kusturitsa. If he wants to shoot an “honest” film, he must come and study this problem thoroughly (the Georgian-Ossetian conflict),” producer Keti Dolidze told journalists.

Dolidze said she was ready to become Kusturitsa’s guide and show him how the Ossetians who became IDPs after the events in South Ossetia lived in Georgia. “After this I am ready to listen to the point of view of Kusturitsa on how to shoot an “honest” film,” she said.

Another producer, Nana Janelidze, considers that Georgian cinematographers must themselves shoot documentary films “about Georgians, Ossetians, interrelations and about the war. We must create such films, such documents. We must not be criticized all the time,” Janelidze said.

The interest of Georgian producers in the theme of the events in August appeared after Russian mass media reported an agreement had been made with Kusturitsa on the creation of a feature film about events in South Ossetia according to a scenario by an Ossetian journalist.
(Black Sea Press)