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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Monday, February 1
Exiles in America demand Tsotne Gamsakhurdia release

Akhali Taoba reports that Ossetians and Georgians living in America are revolted by Tsotne Gamsakhurdia’s arrest and are demanding that President Saakashvili release him. The emigrants state that Saakashvili has introduced a bloody regime in Georgia. Significantly, Ossetian emigrants in North Carolina are also demanding Tsotne Gamsakhirdia’s release.

The man Gamsakhurdia has been accused of assaulting, Bajelidze, states that he did not do so. Despite this, the Prosecutor's Office has taken the matter to court. Tsotne Gamsakhurdia is now in Gldani prison on hunger strike. He was brought before the city court last week.

Russia will grant 10 billion roubles to Sokhumi regime

Rezonansi writes that Russia will grant 10 billion roubles from its budget to the Sokhumi regime over the next 3 years. Ambassador Grigoriev, who represents the Russian Federation in Abkhazia, announced this yesterday at a press conference. An agreement on this was signed in August 2009 when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was visiting Sokhumi. Russia has earmarked 1.9 billion dollars for Abkhazia in its 2010 budget.

“Of course Russian assistance will help Abkhazia's economic and social spheres but the serious stimulus for Abkhazia's development will come primarily from large and medium sized businesses,” stated Grigoriev.

Will Gia Chanturia be heir of Saakashvili?!

Despite the opposition's swagger, Saakashvili will remain in power until 2013. Everyone has already come to terms with this, including the opposition. Now discussions about who the next President will be are being held on this basis, Akhali Taoba writes.

Gia Chanturia is now presumed to be the natural heir of Saakashvili. He appeared in the political arena a couple of months ago, after he had been out of Georgia for several years with accusations hanging over him. Now he has not only returned but plans to become Tbilisi Mayor, Giorgi Targamadze’s party having nominated him.

Lobby interviews have revealed that Gia Chanturia returned to Georgia after great deliberation and America has played a certain role in this. It is known that Chanturia has good relations with America. He was President of the International Oil Corporation of Georgia during the revolution; in fact, Washington stood behind the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project. He has close relations with ex-President George W. Bush and has even visited him on his ranch.

The newspaper says that there is nothing new about who the Georgian President should be being agreed with the Americans. The US analysed Gia Chanturia before and gave its recommendation to Shevardnadze, but the recommendation was not approved by some members of the Civic Union (the so-called reformists). A scandal was raised by the Zhvania-Saakashvili team, who affirmed that the oil pipeline Chanturia was in charge of would bring ecological catastrophe for Georgia. Investigating Chanturia himself was being discussed. Later Russia was said to have been behind this campaign, as the Russian authorities liked neither Chanturia nor the pipeline. It was said for the first time at that point that Shevardnadze would name Gia Chanturia as his heir.

Gia Chanturia was declared to be practically a terrorist on the second day of the Rose Revolution. The National Movement stated that Gia Tchanturia was planning to conduct a counterrevolution, and that is why he was driven out of Georgia. A serious campaign has been conducted against him to prevent him returning.

Now we hear that this so-called Georgian Bin Laden will stand for Tbilisi Mayor. Naturally this has raised many questions. Chanturia’s return has not come about by accident: America seems to have made Saakashvili agree to this, the newspaper says.