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The News in Brief

Friday, May 8
Georgia will join Eastern Partnership Programme

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili left for Prague on May 7 to participate in the two-day EU summit dedicated to the Eastern Partnership Programme.

The Eastern Partnership is designed to further political, economic, and social reforms on the EU model in Eastern European EU partner countries in order to contribute to increased prosperity and stability in the region. It will involve six former Soviet states, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

“By signing this agreement Georgia and the EU will establish institutional ties for the first time,” Saakashvili stated before the summit. “This [Eastern Partnership] means free trade between Georgia and the EU which will bring new investments in the Georgian economy. It also means we will be simplifying the visa regime with the EU and cancelling it in future. We are entering a new stage in the development of the country,” underlined the President. (The Messenger)

Patriarch - Abkhazia is a holy place and will return to Georgia

Abkhazia is a holy place and Abkhazia will be returned to Georgia by all means, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II told Sokhumi University students yesterday.

The Patriarch congratulated the University on its 20th anniversary and awarded Sokhumi University the Golden Order of St. George, an important Georgian Church decoration. The Patriarch explained to the students that only the rector will have the right to wear its regalia.

At the event the Catholicos-Patriarch remembered the historic relationship between Georgians and Abkhazians and said that Abkhazia is a holy place which will definitely return to Georgia. The Patriarch described some miracles which have occurred in Abkhazia and said that Abkhazians still come to him from Abkhazia asking his blessing.

Representatives of the de jure Government of Abkhazia and the Rector of the State University of Tbilisi, Gia Khubua, attended the event. (Interpressnews)

Attorney refuses to defend Vakhtang Maisaia

Onise Mebonia, attorney of military expert Vakhtang Maisaia, who is suspected of espionage, has refused to defend him, citing police misconduct.

The lawyer says that investigators urged him to sign a document which stated that the details of his contacts with the defendant would be confidential and not be made public. They threatened to charge the lawyer with revealing confidential information if he did not obey this order. Mebonia says that this police action was illegal.

Due to the Mebonia’s protest, Maisaia will be defended by budget lawyer Manana Chikovani. (Prime-News)

Police arrest attempted murder suspect

Police have arrested Irakli Dokvadze, who is suspected of attempting the premeditated murder of spouses Gocha Kvirtchishvili and Elza Guliashvili.

On April 25 an investigation into this matter was initiated by Tbilisi Police Main Division detectives. This has established that on the day of the murder attempt, Irakli Dokvadze, a family friend, was visiting the Kvirtchishvili family. The husband and wife were found unconscious after Dokvadze left the apartment.

Irakli Dokvadze has been detained, but has not confessed to any crime. During a search of the suspect’s apartment and a personal search various evidence of his involvement was discovered, including Irakli Dokvadze’s cloth and black shoes, ready for disposal, which he is believed to have worn during the incident. Bio-chemical expertise has allegedly shown that drops of blood fell on the shoes which belonged to Gocha Kvirtchishvili and Elza Guliashvili. (Prime-News)

Retired general charged with article 315

Retired General Koba Kobaladze has been charged in accordance with the second part of Article 315 of the Criminal Code, the clause concerning the “preparation of conditions for overthrowing the Government by force.”

The detainee was officially read the charges yesterday. Kobaladze denies all the charges and says he is a political prisoner. (Rustavi 2)