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The News in Brief

Tuesday, February 3
Members of Venice Commission give recommendations to Georgian MPs

Experts from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe have discussed the merging of the Justice Ministry and the General Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia at the Georgian Parliament’s Committee for Legal Issues.

The Venice Commission members maintain that combining the two offices will have positive results. Many Western countries have similar combined offices. The Georgian MPs were given several recommendations from foreign experts.

The head of the Venice Experts Commission, James Hamilton, says that “the main goal of our visit is to see how independently and unconditionally prosecutors are working in Georgia and whether they have necessary legal guarantees or not.”
(Rustavi 2)

Russia prepared for dialogue with Georgia

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitali Churkin has said that Russia is expecting very boisterous and sharp debates at the UN Security Council session on February15, where members will debate an extension of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG)’s mandate.

Russia has been demanding a modification of the UNOMIG mandate since it recognized the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions, Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia. Russia is urging the UN to send independent missions to the breakaway regions and to Georgia, saying it is no longer appropriate for the Georgian mission to cover the two breakaway territories.

Churkin said he has not yet met the new Georgian delegation to the UN, however, Russia is prepared to launch negotiations with Georgia if they agree to hold dialogue. Churkin also stated that Russia hopes to enjoy constructive cooperation with the United States at the United Nations Organization during Barack Obama’s Presidency.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian authorities to host religious delegations

The Kremlin has hosted religious delegations from various countries, including Georgia, which arrived in the Russian capital to attend the enthronement of Russia’s new Patriarch.

The delegations will meet the His Holiness Patriarch Kyril and personally congratulate him on his assumption of this office. The Georgian delegation will also talk about problems in Georgia-Russia relations.
(Rustavi 2)

Ex-PM visits Guria

Zurab Noghaideli, leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia, has met the local population in the Ozurgeti district of the Guria Region. He presented the action plan and priorities of his party to locals at a meeting yesterday.

Noghaideli maintained that if elected to government, his party would address three main problems: unemployment, the occupied regions and the economic development of the country.

Movement for Fair Georgia member Petre Mamradze stated at the meeting, “If Zurab Noghaideli had still been Premier, the August war would not have started.”
(Rustavi 2)

Body found in Gldani

The badly-burnt body of a dead woman of around 40 years old has been found in the Gldani district of Tbilisi. Eyewitnesses have said that the tortured and burnt corpse was thrown into a ditch on the outskirts of the district.

According to some released information, the woman was first murdered and then burnt in order to destroy traces of the murder. However representatives of the Georgian Interior Ministry have said that a preliminary investigation suggests that the woman committed suicide. Law enforcers say that the dead woman`s son has submitted a letter explaining the reasons for her suicide.

Pre-trial medical expertise has pronounced that second, third and fourth-degree burns caused the woman’s death.
(Rustavi 2)

Police arrest crime group

Zurab Gabunia, an employee of Poti port, Ia Jalaghonia, an employee of Poti customs, Zviad Kvikvinia, Platon Silogava, Noshrevan Kvirkvelia, Gia Kukania, Malkhaz Alasania, Zurab Eliava, Kandid Gagua and Besik Kviraia, an employee of Barwil-Georgia Ltd., have been arrested on suspicion of stealing scrap metal.

The men are alleged to form an organised criminal gang. Police have also seized two trucks on which 55 tonnes of illegally appropriated nonferrous metal (copper in particular), worth 500,000 GEL, imported by transit have been found.

An investigation is being conducted under article 177 of the Criminal Code of Georgia by the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Police.
(Rustavi 2)