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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 17
Saakashvili says opposition tried to provoke crackdown

The opposition has done its best to make the Government crack down on its protests, President Saakashvili has said at a meeting of the Parliamentary majority.

The President stated that there is no alternative to peace and stability. Saakashvili emphasized that many opposition actions were peaceful, however, “Protest actions are not held outside police stations in any normal state. The street outside the police department was blocked. the President stated, adding that all these actions benefit Russia.

The President mentioned the recent attacks on MPs and said that everyone involved would be held legally responsible for their actions and the encouragement of irresponsible actions was also unacceptable. He also stated that he won’t compromise with any destructive elements. (Interpressnews)

Maestro and Kavkasia have resumed broadcasting

Head of Kavkasia David Akubardia and General Producer of Maestro Mamuka Ghlonti have declared that both these TV stations had resumed broadcasting. They had taken themselves off air in protest at their journalists being assaulted by police and their cameras confiscated.

Ghlonti stated that their protest was not a knee-jerk reaction to events, because when journalists are being beaten and deprived of their cameras there is no alternative but to stop broadcasting. He added that the protest had brought results, as the press had shown solidarity with the stations.

Akubardia said that there had been no such assaults on journalists during Shevardnadze’s Presidency. “Our operator being blacked out was the only similar occurrence during the time of Shevardnadze and Kakha Targamadze and Soso Alavidze (then police bosses)apologised for this many times,”-said Akubardia. (Interpressnews)

International observers to visit Tskhinvali

Representatives of the European Union, the OSCE and the UN were expected to arrive in Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, yesterday to meet the separatist leaders and agree the details of the next round of Geneva consultations.

Representative of the separatist regime Boris Chochiev said that Pierre Morel, Johan Verbecke and Charalambos Christopoulos would arrive in Tskhinvali in vehicles provided by the Georgian side, although they had offered to provide their own transport. (Interpressnews)

Shepherd injured by land mine

A Russian hand grenade exploded when a resident of the village of Natsreti, in the Gori district, held it in his hand. Giorgi Khelashvili was driving his herd when he found the grenade. He lost two fingers in the blast but is in a satisfactory condition in hospital in Gori.

Khelashvili’s grandson witnessed the explosion. Investigators have found another eleven explosive devices at the scene. The village was occupied by Russian forces during the August war. (Rustavi 2)

Movement for Fair Georgia condemns police station incident

The Movement for Fair Georgia condemns the incident at the Tbilisi Police Main Division headquarters, its leader Zurab Noghaideli said at a press conference yesterday.

“Unfortunately such incidents are frequent, and this causes serious problems for society. This was the merciless beating of peaceful protestors. It is unacceptable that representatives of the Public Defender and journalists were beaten.

“Yesterday the Government made comments about their actions. To an extent they confessed their crimes, but this is not enough. We demand that the criminals and identified and punished,” stated Noghaideli.

The former Prime Minister added that the public will not calm down unless concrete measures are taken. “We can see that despite the small number of people at the rallies we are on the edge of civil confrontation. The authorities have started to conduct repressions, and it appears these will continue,” he said.

Noghaideli called on Saakashvili to be careful. “This struggle will continue unless the Government which lost the territories is changed,” he said. (Interpressnews)

Government reactivates Chancellery

After almost two months the Georgian Government has once again started to work in the Chancellery. Ministers gathered on the 12th floor of Chancellery yesterday.

Prior to the meeting David Tkeshelashvili has stated that the Ministry of Regional Management and Manufacturing Development has been working regardless during this period and conducting very important sessions. He added that damage caused by natural disasters was due to be discussed at yesterday’s meeting. Information on this matter was due to be presented by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources. (Interpressnews)