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Compiled by Etuna Tsotniashvili
Wednesday, June 17
Relatives of the dead hold a rally outside Rustavi 2

The family of Nika Gelashvili, who died as result of the collapse of the Rustavi 2 Star Academy building, have held a protest rally in front of the TV channel’s headquarters, Rezonansi reports.

Gelashvili’s wife Tea Kakhiani has stated that why the building collapsed has already been determined and an employee of the Artix building company has already been detained as a result. The family thinks that Rustavi 2 is not interested in investigating this matter properly and has appealed to it to make details of the investigation public.

“Those people were Rustavi 2 staff, right? So we demand that the station broadcasts objective information about the investigation which is taking place,” Kakhiani said at the protest action, adding that they have serious suspicions that Rustavi 2 is trying to protect the building company. Kakhiani says the founders of Artix are the wife of former Defence Minister Davit Kezerashvili and a close relative of Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria. However she hopes that this will not influence the ongoing investigation and that it will be clear and objective.

On April 26, a building housing participants in Rustavi 2’s Star Academy programme collapsed and two of the TV company’s employees died as a result.

Forests are still being sold, say Labour

In an interview with Sakartvelos Respublika member of Labour Party Giorgi Gugava says that the Government is trying to plug gaps in budget revenues by selling forests in the Racha-Lechkhumi region.

“The authorities have found a ‘clever’ way out of this crisis by auctioning the rights to exploit thousands of hectares of forest in Racha-Lechkhumi for 20 years for just GEL 3 million,” Gugava states.

The Labour Party says that this auction is planned for July 13 but the party will try to prevent it taking place. Gugava reminds everyone that on the first occasion the Ministry of Economy announced an auction of the forests Labour succeeded in stopping it.

“In 20 years time there will be no trees and bushes left and when they are no longer there it will not matter whom they belonged to,” Gugava said.