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The News in Brief

Friday, December 11
Traders block railway in Ozurgeti

About 150 traders demanding a meeting with the Ozurgeti local government by the railway station have blocked the route of the Tbilisi-Ozurgeti Express.

Interpressnews was informed by the traders that they had found the gates of their farmer's market open and no guard there. Half of their goods had been stolen. The traders are blaming the local government for this and demanding that the regional court takes a decision on this.

By order of the Ozurgeti Governor an order was issued in mid-November to close the farmer's market. The traders were obliged to leave the market's territory in 5 days, but appealed to the court. Under the law the order is not valid until the court makes a decision on the appeal.

The first attempt at closing the market in September ended in scandal. The decision was followed by physical confrontations between police and the traders, who say that a new shopping mall is being built in Ozurgeti and they are being forced to move there. They will have to pay high taxes in the shopping mall, and this is the cause of their dissatisfaction. (Interpressnews)

Public Prosecutor's Office lawyer detained for alleged corruption

Member of the Tbilisi Public Prosecutorís Office Zviad Salia has been detained on suspicion of corruption.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Davit Sakvarelidze stated at a briefing yesterday, that Zviad Salia had promised Giorgi Devdariani, detained for drug possession, that he would resolve his problem and took GEL 4,000 from two separate sources for doing this. Zviad Salia faces 9 years imprisonment if this allegation is proven. (Interpressnews)

Gori district cleared of debris of war

The Gori district has been completely cleared of the debris of war. The charitable NGO the HALO Trust, a non-political, non-religious NGO which specialises in the removal of landmines and other dangerous war debris, finished work in the village of Meghvrekisi yesterday. U.S. Ambassador John Bass and representatives of the Defence Ministry of Georgia attended a ceremony in the village at which the village was officially assigned to the local authorities.

The U.S. Government had allocated 6,700,000 USD to the organisation to carry out mine clearance works in the Gori district. Specialists cleared up 270 hectares in Meghvrekisi. They removed 288 items of dangerous debris left by the cluster bombs of the Russian Army. (Rustavi 2)

Parliamentary Committee and Prosecutor's Office to form a joint group

The Temporary Parliamentary Commission working to establish the cause of death of Georgia's late President Zviad Gamsakhurdia will combine with the Prosecutor's Office to form a special group. This decision was made at a meeting between Commission members and Chief Prosecutor Murtaz Zodelava yesterday.

MP Jondi Baghaturia, a member of the Commission, stated that the group will coordinate the work of the Commission on all necessary issues. It will work on the materials held in the archive of the Prosecutor's Office about Zviad Gamsakhurdia's death. Another member of the Commission, Lasha Tordia, hailed the readiness of the Prosecutor's Office to cooperate with the Commission and make all necessary materials available to its members.

The Prosecutor's Office has six volumes of material on Gamsakhurdia's death and the Commission will begin to look at these documents next week. The Chairman of the Commission, MP Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, says that they will compare the materials from the Prosecutor's Office with those they have already obtained. (Rustavi 2)

ice-Premier Sergey Ivanov may be responsible for North Caucasus

The Nezavisimaia Gazeta reports that President Medvedev wants to appoint Vice Premier Sergey Ivanov as the person responsible for North Caucasus affairs. This decision will be agreed with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev initiated the new position of North Caucasus Affairs Representative a month ago and listed the key problems prevailing in the region, which are inefficient spending, unemployment, poverty, refugees and corruption.

"There must be a person responsible for the situation in the region who must have enough authority to effectively coordinate this work," Medvedev stated. (Interpressnews)

Embassy of Italy launches new project for refugee children

The Embassy of Italy has launched new project called Argo for refugee children. The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation states that an electronic database of refugee children will be created through this project, accessible for Italian businessmen and also NGOs and state departments.

Any interested Italian will be able to plan various projects for children and conduct investments on the basis of the information held in the database. The Foreign Ministry of Italy has allotted 20,000 Euros for the creation of the database.

The project will be launched at the European House (Freedom Square, Corner of Leselidze and Dadiani Streets) on 11 December at 11:00. The launch will be attended by Italyís Ambassador to Georgia Vittorio Sandalli, Minister of Refugees and Accommodation Koba Subeliani and other state officials. (Interpressnews)