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Compiled by Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, December 16
Saakashvili offered me USD 20 million

Kviris Palitra reports that Eduard Kokoity, de facto President of South Ossetia, is claiming that Mikheil Saakashvili tried to bribe him in 2003.

“In January 2003 Saakashvili sent me three officials offering me USD 20 million to either leave my post or give my people back to Georgia. Of course I rejected the proposal. It later turned out that Saakashvili had sent me not 20 but 50 million, which his emissaries had divided in two,” Kokoity stated.

He added that he had no personal hostility towards Saakashvili at this time, as he had not yet soiled his hands with Ossetian blood. Kokoity also remembers that Russian peace keepers had once also asked him to let Saakashvili enter the villages through Tskhinvali, and he had agreed. Saakashvili then changed his route and entered the Tskhinvali department store where Georgians traded.

“Saakashvili was supported by the Ossetian Interior Minister and other high officials. When Saakashvili held a meeting in the store our Minister told him to leave the building. As Saakashvili didn’t obey his guards were disarmed and guns were aimed at them,” stated Kokoity.

Grigol Vashadze’s appointment a message to Washington

Mteli Kvira writes that independent Georgian expert Gia Khukhashvili has stated that he has nothing against Lasha Zhvania as a person but it is still unclear why he was appointed Economy Minister. He also added that the reasons for appointing Nika Gvaramia as Minister of Education and Science and Nika Rurua as Minister of Culture and Sport are also vague.

“These people are hostages of the existing system who can now change nothing whatever they do. The first wave of staff changes was connected with the resignation of Irakli Alasania, the former Representative of Georgia to the United Nations. Our Government doubted that he was going to return to Georgia from Washington’s orbit. The appointment of Vashadze as Foreign Minister was a sort of reaction to this. Vashadze is a Russian citizen, he has particular relations with Russia, thus Vashadze’s appointment was a sign to Washington that if the US changes its course in future Georgia is ready to involve itself with Russia,” Khukhashvili stated.

Eka Kherkheulidze says opposition are part of a plot

Kviris Palitra writes that Eka Kherkheulidze, the Deputy Chairperson of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, is sure that the opposition members who rejected their Parliamentary seats did so because they knew about a possible military attack from the Russian side, and has called them part of a plot against the Government.

Kherkheulidze criticized the opposition after the statement of Sozar Subari, the Public Defender, who recalled the beating of the Parliament members in Zugdidi on October 28, 2007, the raid on Imedi TV and its journalists on November 7, 2007 and other such cases, placing all the responsibility for them on the Government. According to Kherkheulidze, on the evening of November 7 Kakha Kukava and Zviad Dzidziguri were standing in front of Imedi TV with bare hands, while Badri Patarkatsishvili was intending to overthrow the Government fully armed.

Recommendations for barrister judges

Rezonansi reports that a group of advocates from the Parliamentary Anti-Crisis Council has made recommendations for changes in the criminal law system. These have already been passed to the Juridical Committee of Parliament for the further discussion.

The suggestions prepared by the advocates consist of about 50 paragraphs of procedural code. They include recommendations about barrister judges. Member of the advocate group Adeishvili says that the codex consists of eight paragraphs and 365 articles and totally corresponds to international standards. The procedural code of criminal law was passed at its first Parliamentary hearing. A second hearing is planned for the middle of December.