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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 2
Russian Interior Ministry responds to Mikheil Saakashvili

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation has responded to a statement made by Mikheil Saakashvili.

Georgian President Saakashvili said on Tuesday that “We all remember a time when the country was controlled by criminals, but a thief cannot operate in Georgia today as they are imprisoned or have run away to Russia. It must be said that our main export to Russia is not wine but a world of thieves, controlling many things there today.” The Press Centre of the Russian MIA, as reported by Interfax, has said that the majority so called “lawful thieves” living in the Russian Federation are ethnic Georgians. According to their statistics, about 1,200 such people live in Russia today and 60% of them are Georgians.

The MIA of the Russian Federation says that about 100 Georgian crime bosses have permanent residences in suburbs of Moscow and the majority of them live illegally in Russia through forged documents. The MIA stressed that this should not be “a source of pride” for Georgia. (Interpressnews)

Defence Minister attends military ceremony in Gori

The First Brigade of the Armed Forces marked its 16th birthday yesterday. Defence Minister Davit Sikharulidze arrived in Gori today to congratulate the officers, soldiers and commanders of the Brigade on the occasion.

The Minister thanked the soldiers, over 400 of them, for their work and handed over monetary rewards to them. The Brigade and the Ministry delegation also observed a minute’s silence for the heroes who died in the war with Russia in August 2008.

The First Brigade of the Armed Forces was formed on April 1, 1992. Since then the Brigade has participated in various peacekeeping operations abroad. (Rustavi 2)

Giorgi Tsagareishvili adds his name to impeachment demand

Giorgi Tsagareishvili, a member of the Strong Georgia party, has voiced his support for the Labour Party proposal to impeach the President. Tsagareishvili signed the Labour Party’s corresponding demand at the Parliamentary Committee on Procedural Issues meeting yesterday.

Shalva Natelashvili’s party demanded that Parliament launch impeachment proceedings against Saakashvili in January, 2009, and gave corresponding notification to the Parliamentary Committee on Procedural Issues. The demand had been signed by Shalva Natelashvili (leader of the Labour Party), Soso Shatberashvili (its General Secretary), Giorgi Gugava (its Political Secretary) and Kakha Dzagania (its Ideological Secretary) until yesterday. (Interpressnews)

Opposition objects to sale of company

Members of the Movement for United Georgia and the Conservatives are objecting to the sale of the Arti Group Company’s head office. The company was once run by people who fled Georgia after conflict with the authorities. Protestors have assembled outside the company’s head office, urging the courts to block the sale. They have also called upon business leaders not to buy the office.

The representatives of opposition parties say the office was taken illegally from its owners by the Government. (Rustavi 2)

Incident in Khurcha

An incident has occurred in the village of Khurcha, Zugdidi district. Local residents say that a shell was fired from the village of Otabaia, in Gali district which exploded in the yard of the Kvaratskhelia family home.

The explosion left the head of the family injured. He has been transferred to Zugdidi Hospital.

Local residents state that Russian occupiers fired the shell and shooting from various weapons has been heard several times before this. Such incidents are recurring in the village of Khurcha. (Interpressnews)