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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 14
MIA increases award for information about Koba Otanadze

The MIA has increased the size of the award it is offering for information on the whereabouts of Koba Otanadze, who is wanted by police on suspicion of organizing the Mukhrovani mutiny, the official website of the MIA reports.

A 200,000 GEL reward is being offered for telling the police the whereabouts of Koba Otanadze. Those wishing to provide this information should apply to any police station or call 022. Anonimity will be guaranteed.

The police are also searching for Levan Amiridze and Gia Krialashvili, who are also suspected of organizing the mutiny. The reward for information about them is 50,000 GEL. (Interpressnews)

Who will chair the Constitutional Commission?

The Parliamentary opposition disagree among themselves over the principle under which the new state commission on constitutional amendments should be staffed.

The Christian Democrats believe that the Commission should be chaired not by a politician, but a neutral person with a high reputation. However the leader of the Kartuli Dasi movement, MP Jondi Baghaturia, says there is no need to form such a commission, because the constitutional commission formed four months ago is capable of addressing these issues. Another opposition MP, Gia Tortladze from Strong Georgia, believes it is not of vital importance who chairs the commission, the most important thing being to allow the commission to start work.

While the Parliamentary opposition debate how the commission should be staffed, the radical opposition, who have been holding street protests since April 9 demanding the President`s resignation, have no intention of cooperating with the commission. Their demand remains in force despite the President`s proposals.

Saakashvili introduced a five-point document of proposals to the opposition after having met with their leaders, one of these being the formation of a special state commission, which will be chaired by a representative of the opposition parties and which will work on constitutional amendments. The radical opposition rejected the proposals and instead applied to the municipal Government for permission to hold further demonstrations from May 16. (Rustavi 2)

Convicts to receive education online

The Ministry of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Assistance signed a memorandum with the Ilia Chavchavadze University yesterday which will enable convicts to receive an education online. The memorandum implies the creation of electronic versions of lectures and distance teaching courses.

The goal of the project is to achieve the resocializing and public reintegration of convicts after they have served their sentences. (Rustavi 2)

Cars of members of Nino Burjanadze’s party seized in Kutaisi

Cars belonging to members of Nino Burjanadze’s party have been seized in Kutaisi. As their owners state at a press conference yesterday, patrol police seized the cars on Tuesday night after violations of traffic regulations and levied on their owners fines of GEL 200.

Supporters of Nino Burjanadze’s party claim that these arrests amount to the persecution of the opposition and are designed to discredit the party. They state that the MIA of Georgia has involved the police patrol in its fight against the opposition parties. (Interpressnews)

NDP accepts President’s proposals

The National Democratic Party has approved the five-point document of Government proposals presented to the radical opposition after the meeting with its leaders on Tuesday.

One of the five points concerns the formation of a state commission to work on constitutional amendments which will be chaired by a representative of the opposition. Party spokesperson Guram Chakhvadze said that such a commission should be staffed by society and include experts as well.

“The formation of a state commission already means we are entering a new political reality, in which it is possible to solve the current problems via negotiations, undertake systemic changes and involve representatives of Georgian society in this process,” Guram Chakhvadze of the party announced today. (Rustavi 2)

Public Defender addresses Prosecutor General

The Public Defender is urging that the rights of former military officers arrested on suspicion of organizing the Mukhrovani uprising be respected. The Ombudsman asserts that four defendants and one suspect were beaten during their detention and interrogations and has demanded that the Prosecutor General respond to this allegation and investigate these violations. (Rustavi 2)

Nika Gilauri pays official visit to Great Britain

Nika Gilauri, the Prime Minister of Georgia, is paying an official visit to Great Britain. As part of his visit he will meet the representatives of British business and financial circles and also staff of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Nika Gilauri’s visit will last until May 17. (Interpressnews)