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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 16
Davit Bakradze meets Tina Kaidanow

Chair of the Georgian Parliament Davit Bakradze and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tina Kaidanow discussed the internal political situation and the reforms planned by the Government at an introductory meeting today.

Bakradze told journalists after the meeting that they had similar viewpoints about moving the political dispute into political institutions and continuing the reforms which have been begun.

He emphasised that the discussion had been “unusually detailed” and frank and expressed hope that such relations would continue in future. “Tina Kaidanow is well aware of the issues concerning Georgia in spite of her being newly appointed” Bakradze said.

Deputies Akaki Minashvili, Gigi Tsereteli and Levan Vephkhvadze also took part in this meeting, held in Parliament. Kaidanow has replaced Matthew Bryza as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. (Interpressnews)

High voltage electricity connection between Georgia and Turkey being built

Construction of a high voltage electricity line connecting Georgia with Turkey began yesterday. The groundbreaking ceremony was observed by President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in Gardabani.

Saakashvili stated that Georgia’s energy supply will be protected with this line. He said that Georgia is the most independent and diversified country in terms of energy provision in Eastern and Central Europe, and has one of the lowest tariffs. He added that the construction of a large hydroelectric power station will begin in the near future.

The President said that tens of thousands of people will be employed by these construction works. (Interpressnews)

Photo exhibition held in Parliament

The Georgian Parliament hosted a photo exhibition dedicated to the International Day of Democracy, which was declared by the UN on November 8 2007, yesterday. Students from the Academy of Arts and the Theatrical Academy exhibited their vision of democracy in photos.

MPs and Professors from various universities attended the event. Parliament Speaker Davit Bakradze addressed the guests, saying that the understanding of the notion of democracy was very individual, which is why students were asked to present their visions of democracy in photos. (Rustavi 2)

Maisaia declares he was forced to testify against Lomaia and Bezhuashvili

Lawyers of military analyst Vakhtang Maisaia and the Human Rights Centre are demanding that a criminal case be brought against the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Counterintelligence Department. They stated yesterday at a press conference held at the Human Rights Centre office yesterday that investigators Lado Datashvili and Vakhtang Zumbadze from that department forced Maisaia to give testimony against diplomats and experts working in Georgia and accuse them of cooperating with Russia. Maisaia named the people he was forced to give testimony against as Kakha Lomaia, Gela Bezhuashvili, American and British diplomats and analysts and Tornike Sharashenidze, a member of the Parliamentary majority whose name had been withheld from previous reports at the insistence of Maisaia’s family.

Maisaia’s lawyer Natia Korkotadze said that investigators entered the cell Maisaia was being held in at 10 in the evening, took him and forced him to give testimony. Another prisoner in the same cell affirms his removal. Maisaia said that a Russian Security Service Central Apparatus official attended his questioning and called on him to tell the Georgian authorities everything he used to tell Russia. Maisaia said that the MIA personnel called the Security Service man ‘Spartak’.

The court has not yet decided to hear Maisaia’s case. The analyst was detained on 5 May for spying. (Interpressnews)

President opens reconstructed synagogue

The Georgian President opened the reconstructed synagogue in Tbilisi yesterday. The synagogue in the Old Tbilisi district was built more then a century ago and its reconstruction began a year ago with the support of an Asian-Jewish company.

The Tbilisi Mayor and representatives of the Georgian Jewish Diaspora attended the ceremony. (Rustavi 2)