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Compiled by Salome Modebadze
Monday, December 8
Badri Bitsadze glad to give evidence to International Commission

Versia reports that former Chief of the Border Police of Georgia Badri Bitsadze has established a non-Governmental organization.

The main function of his new Border Safety and Migration Investigation Centre will be the defence of the border. Bitsadze has developed a political profile by establishing this organisation.

“I sent Parliament the list it wanted of people who crossed the border. We have a common database on computer where the position of a person who crosses the border is not indicated. What Russia did was a terrible act but it is a fact that we started the war. I will give evidence about all this to the international commission gladly,” Bitsadze stated.

Subari rejects award

A ceremony to award Sozar Subari, the Georgian Public Defender, with a Golden Cross for outstanding public service was due to be held last week in the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. The award was the initiative of President of Poland Lech Kaczynski, but the ceremony did not take place. Subari rejected the award when he heard that Mikheil Saakashvili would have the final say in whether he should be given the award.

Subari sent Kaczynski a polite refusal the day before the event. In his letter Subari said: “It is my responsibility to defend people harassed by government. In the course of my work I have found it especially alarming that the Government and President have failed to develop the political will to support the nation and its interests. I have mentioned this in reports many times. This award would have been a great honour for me, especially as a show of support for the democratization process and as an act of solidarity with the Georgian nation. But as I have heard that it is up to Saakashvili to decide on my suitability it’s my obligation to reject the award.”

Gia Khuroshvili and Giorgi Meladze charged with lobbying for the tobacco industry

The Tobacco Control Alliance has expressed its worries concerning the progress of the tobacco control act, Versia writes. According to Bakhturidze, the chairman of the Tobacco Control Alliance, Gia Khuroshvili (Parliamentary Secretary of the Georgian Government) and Giorgi Meladze (MP from the ruling party) are defending the position of the tobacco industry, thus undermining the bill.

Advertising tobacco should be prohibited according to the tobacco control framework, Bakhturidze noted. If Government bodies won’t establish the proper policy in Georgia the representatives of Tobacco Control Alliance will address international organizations on this matter.

Gverdtsiteli’s concert postponed for a month

Singer Tamar Gverdtsiteli’s concert planned for the middle of December in Tbilisi has been postponed, Sakartvelos Respublika writes. Davit Okitashvili, the head of the Events Department at the Ministry of Culture, has confirmed this. The concert will now be held in either January or February, he added.

Gverdtsiteli has a photo session scheduled in December and this has made her change her plans. Michel Legrand however will visit Tbilisi with friends on December 19 and perform at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre on December 21. Gverdtsiteli will perform in January or February, Okitashvili stated.