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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Thursday, November 19
The Larsi border checkpoint will be opened for cargo only

Rezonansi reports that the Larsi border checkpoint will be reopened for cargo only and not serve as a crossing point for people without a consignment of cargo. MP Jondi Baghaturia has stated that the Government has made this decision on Armenia’s demand to serve Armenia’s interests. He added that Georgia also has an economic and political interest in opening a cargo point, as the Larsi opening will increase the trade turnover of Mtskheta Mtianeti residents 7-8 times. “If the Larsi border is opened the necessity of good neighbourly relations between these two States increases,” stated Baghaturia.

This decision does not affect the Russian economic embargo, as the cargo passing through the checkpoint would be being exported to Russia by Armenia, not Georgia. According to initial reports the Christian Democrats supports the decision to reopen the checkpoint.

The Pardon Commission has not met

The President will not grant any pardons on 23 November. The amnesty planned for the 6th anniversary of the Rose Revolution and St. George’s Day, will concern only drug abusers, but although these will have their sentences reduced, no one will be released with a full pardon because the matter has not been discussed.

In an interview with Rezonansi Chair of the Pardon Commission Elene Tevdoradze has talked about this. “On Giorgoba the remaining prison terms of drug abusers will be halved. If someone has only two days of their sentence left, this term would also be halved and then they could be set free,” says Tevdoradze. She could not give the exact number of people who will be affected by this amnesty but said that around 3,000 prisoners had been arrested for drug offences.

Before granting pardons the President must arrange a meeting of the Pardon Commission to discuss cases but he has not done so. Tevdoradze said that she had sent a letter demanding that the President call a meeting but has had no answer until now.

“There no time left before the 23 November. I have always sent a letter to the President ten days before the meeting should be held. This means that there will be no pardons on 23 November because we cannot meet to discuss any. However many people are seeking a pardon and most of these are women,” Tevdoradze said.

Tevdoradze said that after 23 November she will again appeal to the President to give pardons in the new year. “Traditionally there is the one set of pardons a year,” Tevdoradze said.

Konstantine Gamsakhurdia receives death threat

“Konstantine Gamsakhurdia’s assistant Mirian Patarkatsishvili has been called from an anonymous number and told to stop investigating Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s death or all the members of the Commission, including Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, will share the fate of Tamaz Ninua, who was assassinated,” one of the leaders of the Freedom Party Sandro Bregadze has told Alia.

“We shall officially ask the Ministry of Internal Affairs to launch an investigation into this. We will also hold a press conference where Konstantine will make a statement about it. The person who called was a man with a deep voice, but the voice seemed digitally altered by a computer. We shall demand that security mechanisms be activated but we have no evidence at the present stage,” Sandro Bregadze told the newspaper.

“I agree with Bezhan Khurtsidze’s assessment that an Investigatory Commission has more power than a temporal one. We are all well aware that Konstantine’s return to Parliament has not been a popular step in the eyes of some. If they pose obstacles to us no one will stop us going back to boycotting Parliament. If we cannot achieve our goals by being in Parliament we have nothing further to do there,” Bregadze says.

“If former State officials are not forced to appear for interrogation then the Commission loses its function. We are not Sherlock Holmes or telepathic and cannot ascertain the reasons for Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s death without interrogating former high officials,” Sandro Bregadze stated.