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The News in Brief

Thursday, February 4
Tbilisi Airport resumes receiving planes

Tbilisi Airport resumed receiving planes yesterday. Interpressnews was told by the airport that a plane from Minsk landed and returned and a plane from London that had landed in Yerevan due to smog was received at 18:00. The Tbilisi-Istanbul flight which had been cancelled was restored.

Smog had been hindering flights. Although the airport declared it could receive planes without any problem aviation companies took the decision to cancel flights. Most of those due to arrive at the airport, including the one bringing the members of the Venice Commission to Tbilisi, landed in Istanbul, others in Trabzon. (Interpressnews)

Inspector-Investigator detained by General Inspection

Employees of the General Inspection of the Ministry of the Interior have detained Inspector-Investigator of the Borjomi Police Division Lieutenant Archil Kalandadze on the charges of bribery. The detainee is alleged to have been systematically accepting bribes from the owners of woodworking shops in exchange for resolving any future problems and guaranteeing they would not be charged or inspected. The suspect has already pleaded guilty.

An investigation has been launched under Article 338 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Cases of multiple bribe acceptance are punished by terms of imprisonment of from 11 to 15 years. (Rustavi 2)

Minister meets traders to allay their concerns

Minister of Finance of Georgia Kakha Baindurashvili visited the open markets of the capital yesterday and talked with traders concerned about possibly being fined for not using invoices. The Minister told them that this new regulation, which has caused mass protests, did not apply to the retail trade; market traders are not obliged to issue invoices for each item sold.

Kakha Baindurashvili also denied reports that using cash machines at open markets had been made obligatory again. He accused the opposition of using this issue for their own political ends.

The Minister listened to the problems of the traders and promised to hold similar meetings periodically. (Rustavi 2)

Opposition leader applies to municipal Government

Leader of the People's Party Koba Davitashvili has submitted an application to the Tbilisi Mayor's office for permission to hold a demonstration outside Parliament on February 8. He says his application includes the full schedule of the rally, which will be held with traders protesting against amendments to the tax code.

The protestors will demand the nullification of Article 143 of the tax code, which applies penalties to traders who trade without invoices. Davitashvili plans to explain details of the rally to the traders and visit other markets and stores in the capital. (Rustavi 2)

Interior Ministry demands urgent release of Malkhaz Akhvlediani

The Georgian side has published a statement concerning the detention in Tskhinvali of Malkhaz Akhvlediani, a resident of Chiatura. It says that Akhvlediani (born 1967) was detained on 31 January, 2010 outside the village of Nikozi, accused by the puppet regime of crossing the so-called state border.

"It has been agreed within the Incident Prevention and Respond Mechanism that people will be released if they cross the administrative border by accident. Despite this, the Ossetian side has refused to release Malkhaz Akhvlediani for several days in violation of the achieved agreements. The Georgian MIA demands the urgent release of Malkhaz Akhvlediani," the statement reads.

Akhvlediani was visiting relatives in Nikozi. (Interpressnews)

Constitutional Commission delegation ends visit to Poland

The Georgian State Constitutional Commission delegation has concluded its visit to Poland.

Its press service states that the delegation held meetings with Polish legislative, executive, court and academic representatives and constitutional experts.

The visit was conducted within the ‘Study Tours to Poland’ programme. The delegation was led by Secretary of the State Constitutional Commission Tengiz Sharmanashvili. (Interpressnews)

Opposition leader sued for insulting a citizen

Tbilisi City Court has begun discussion of a lawsuit brought against one of the leaders of the Conservative Party, Kakha Kukava. Leli Iashvili is suing the opposition leader for verbal insult and demanding a public apology and 20,000 GEL in compensation for the tainting of her dignity.

The complainant says that Kukava called her a "20 GEL whore" when she and other residents of Rustaveli Avenue demanded the removal of the improvised cells erected during the opposition rallies. The incident occurred on June 15, 2009. (Rustavi 2)

Infant infected with H1N1

A two-month-old infant from the Kakheti Region was hospitalised to Tbilisi late on Tuesday night with the symptoms of pneumonia, which developed following a severe viral infection.

Doctors say the child is in a grave condition and the infection resembles H1N1. The infant was infected by other members of the family. (Rustavi 2)