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The News in Brief

Monday, July 20
Moving Georgia`s Parliament to Kutaisi proposed

An initiative group is proposing to turn Kutaisi, in the Imereti Region, into the seat of the Georgian Parliament. The group has addressed this proposal to Akaki Bobokhidze, the Kutaisi MP. It has already gathered 3,000 signatures in support of this idea and a public movement will be founded to fulfil this initiative.

Akaki Bobokhidze says that moving the legislative body to Kutaisi will help relieve the political situation in the capital and assist in developing the region. The MP says he will propose this initiative to the Government.

Georgian MPs have already responded to the proposal. Some support the idea, while others say this initiative is not serious and any other town in Georgia could make the same request.

“If we are talking about creating another capital, Kutaisi can become one of the political centres of the country. This will help increase the region`s significance even more. I see nothing unacceptable and unrealistic in this,” Gigi Tsereteli, the Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, said.

Giorgi Targamadze of the Christian Democrats has said it is important to intensify efforts to strengthen Parliament’s constitutional role, before the initiative is approved. He said other important offices have been moved to different regions of Georgia as well and Parliament should discuss whether the productivity of their work has increased or decreased as a result.
(Rustavi 2)

Silent protest by NGOs outside former Russian Embassy

Non-Governmental organisations have held an action outside the former Embassy of Russia.

Members of human rights organisations are taking part. They stated that they were protesting against Russia’s policy of “hunting for human rights defenders and journalists,” as they put it.

The participants protested against last Wednesday’s murder of Russian journalist and human rights defender Natalia Estemirova. They carried placards saying “Who is Next?” They demand that the Russian authorities investigate the case.

55-year old Estemirova was abducted on Wednesday from Grozno. Her body was found in Ingushetia. She was member of the Memorial human rights centre, which has accused Ramzan Kadirov of being involved in her murder.

Georgian Economy Minister meets his Armenian counterpart

The Minister of Economy of Georgia has met his Armenian counterpart. Talks between Lasha Zhvania and Nerses Yeritsian were held at the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel. The Ministers discussed the economic relations between the two countries. The Armenian Minister later left for Akhalkalaki, where a new road connecting Georgia and Armenia is being constructed as part of the Millennium Challenge Project.

The Armenian Government delegation arrived in Tbilisi on Sunday. Nerses Yeritsian was also scheduled to meet the Minister of Regional Development.
(Rustavi 2)

Locals demand the lynching of murder suspects

Members of the family of Giorgi Imerlishvili, 7, who was murdered by his neighbours, tried to break into the suspects’ apartment, but law enforcers prevented them. Criminal police are working at the scene.

The boy’s parents threw stones at the door of the apartment and hit it with wooden sticks. Later, family members went out into the street and blocked traffic movement for several minutes. Family members and relatives of the dead boy demanded that the suspects be lynched. They dispersed soon after police arrived at the scene.

The population of the village of Mukhran-Teleti have expressed their indignation at the murder as well. This is the village where Jemal and Kakha Samadashvili hid the child after they had kidnapped him.

The murder occurred in the Kvemo Ponitchala district of Tbilisi on July 18. Neighbours kidnapped Giorgi Imerlishvili from his yard by stealth. Later his body was found brutally tortured and wrapped in cellophane in the vicinity of Kumisi Lake in the Gardabani district.

Jemal Samadashvili and his son Kakha Samadashvili have been accused of the murder. They have admitted the crime. Trying to get a ransom from the child’s parents has been cited as the reason for the crime, although the investigation is investigating other possible motives as well.
(Rustavi 2)