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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Monday, December 28
We deliberately did not talk about Saakashvili, says Noghaideli

Rezonansi reports that former Georgian PM and current leader of opposition party Movement for Fair Georgia Zurab Noghaideli has stated that: "We had a very short conversation with Putin about the destruction of the World War 2 memorial in Kutaisi, although he is abreast of all the developments in Georgia and this is evident in his decision to release the Georgian teenagers. This is my victory. I have made the conscious decision to re-establish relations with Russia through constructive negotiations, such as those I am holding now, so the country can be reunited.

“We deliberately did not talk about Saakashvili. When the journalists left us Putin stated that it was natural that I had not said anything about him because I would not like to and it is unnecessary for him. We will not talk about Saakashvili at future meetings either. Our internal problems are our own business and we must solve them ourselves. We are talking to Russia about reestablishing Georgian-Russian relations and will do so for as long as necessary. I have already planned future meetings," Noghaideli added.

“The Russian people are generally warm towards Georgia. Today we are having a quarrel because the two Governments are quarrelling with each other. Therefore I established negotiations. Putin did not come here, I went there. I am going to re-establish relations with Russia and because I have outstripped everyone in this respect they are now nervous about it. Specifically, Saakashvili is nervous about it. They are having hysterics in Avlabari [the President's residence] because they have seen that these are not just verbal negotiations but a means of producing successful outcomes. I have been in Georgian politics for 20 years and am always oriented on results. I will sort out this problem by all means,” continued Noghaideli.

“I have been asked several times why I have not told Putin to leave the occupied territories, because I have the chance to unite Georgia. I am not going to prove myself to Georgian citizens in one evening. My cause is bigger. I am working for Georgia’s unity. I am not Saakashvili, who does things just to gain short term approval. If I had not talked only about the released teenagers in Tskhinvali the children would be still detained there. Today they are home, so now we can talk about more difficult issues and resolve other problems too," states Zurab Noghaideli.

Zaza Khatiashvili: lawyers can make Saakashvili eat another tie

Akhali Taoba writes that the election of the Chairman of the Lawyers Association has become a serious battleground in which both independent lawyers and Government agencies such as the Special Operations Division (SOD) and the Office of Public Prosecutor are doing everything they can to secure the election of their desired candidate.

The first round of the election produced no clear winner so now a second will be held. Zaza Khatiashvili, one the candidates, has said: “The law students from Kakheti who supported me at the elections to the Security Council were put in cars, had their mobile phones taken off them and told not to support me. They told them to vote for the Government candidate. The Office of the Public Prosecutor, SOD and the courts are actually enemies of the development of the legal profession, and it is horrible that they are interfering in the Lawyers Association elections. Saakashvili is fighting me because he knows that if I become Association Chairman the police state which has been created in Georgia would be unmasked inside and outside the country. Saakashvili will not accept me as Chairman of the Association, but lawyers must unite. If I become the Chairman neither the Government nor the opposition will be able to dictate to it," stated Zaza Khatiashvili.

“The television said that Kartskhava had won the election on the first ballot but the lawyers protested and did not go home before six o’clock. Such support and devotion to my candidature forced Saakashvili to accept his first defeat. We remember that when Saakashvili was stood up to he ate his tie. If the lawyers show similar resistance he will eat a second tie. The lawyers must be strong and non-political,” Khatiashvili said.