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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 24
State to rehabilitate buildings damaged by wind

The state will rehabilitate buildings damaged by the wind, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri stated at the Government session yesterday.

Gilauri stated many problems have been caused by the wind in Tbilisi and the regions. He said that about 150 houses have been left without roofs. There are problems concerning the electricity supply.

"The rehabilitation of damaged buildings will be financed by the State. About 50,000 subscribers lost electricity during the storm, but now electricity is fully supplied to Tbilisi," the Prime Minister said.

Gilauri said that about 130,000 subscribers had lost electricity in the regions, mainly in Eastern Georgia, and 80,000 were still without it. He assumed that by the end of the day electricity would be supplied to them.

The strong wind has killed two people. Gilauri expressed condolences to their families.

He said that the extent of the damage has not yet been quantified but would be announced by the end of the day. (Interpressnews)

Badri Patarkatsishvili’s associates to form new political union

A new political union called For Victory has been established by Shalva Khachapuridze, a lawyer. The party consists mainly of associates of the late Badri Patarkatsishvili, the prominent Georgian businessman.

Shalva Khachapuridze said that the party will not take part in the local elections and is demanding early Parliamentary and Presidential elections instead. "The party comprises mainly those defence lawyers who have defeated Saakashvili many times over the last 6 years and won the internal elections of the Advocates Association. The action plan of the party is based upon the ideas of Badri Patarkatsishvili. Our programme will be presented after the local elections," Khachapuridze said.

The first initiative of the party will be to open a memorial to President Saakashvili's victims. Designs for this are being accepted until March 15. According to Khachapuridze the Saakashvili regime has claimed 105 victims, including Badri Patarkatsishvili, Sandro Girgvliani and Zurab Vazagashvili among others. (GHN)

Petre Tsiskarishvili promises not to use tractors to bribe electors

Leader of the Parliamentary majority Petre Tsiskarishvili has promised that the Government will not use tractors to bribe electors. He said this at the plenary sitting of Parliament after the Christian Democrats expressed their doubt about this, saying it had been done in Adjara.

Petre Tsiskarishvili stated that the local government elections will be held in May and tractors will already be in use by that time for ploughing and sowing. He said that the tractors received from the Government of Japan will be distributed to service centres. (Interpressnews)

Police arrest murder suspect

Officers of the Tbilisi Police Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have detained the previously convicted Giorgi Takniashvili (born 1985), who is alleged to have committed the premeditated murder of Ludmila Matsaberidze (born 1948) in the Gldani settlement on September 3, 2009 for profit. The victim died from head injuries inflicted with a blunt object.

The suspect has already pleaded guilty. An investigation is being conducted by the employees of Tbilisi Police Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the basis of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Three arrested for document forging

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of document forgery. Police state that the suspects demanded USD 5,500 for each counterfeit document. Detectives say they found ammunition, forged passports and illegal seals during a search of the suspects' apartments.

Nugzar Sulamanidze, Mamuka Tsiklauri and Noel Akofov forged documents frequently, an investigation has concluded. The police expect to identify more people damaged by their actions. Sulamanidze was caught red-handed when he handed over a forged ID card to someone and took USD 1,000 from them. (Rustavi 2)

Ruling party urges Noghaideli`s ally to clarify Moscow agreement

MPs from the Parliamentary majority have called upon MP Petre Mamradze, who is an ally of Zurab Noghaideli, to clarify from the Parliamentary tribune the cooperation agreement which his party leader has signed with Russia's ruling party.

MP Rati Samkurashvili voiced the position of the National Movement at the plenary session yesterday. He said that it was unacceptable that Parliament had learnt about this aforementioned agreement only from the TV, while a member of Noghaideli`s Movement for Fair Georgia was a sitting Member of Parliament. Samkurashvili said that he wants to hear from Mamradze what Zurab Noghaideli thanked Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for, what beginning dialogue with Russia without preconditions means and whether it means giving up Georgia's territorial integrity.

"It will be very interesting to hear what Mamradze will have to say in this regard. I wonder what he will say about his political past, when he called Russia a `checkist country`, now his leader has signed a cooperation agreement with Russia's ruling party," Samkurashvili asked, adding that he wonders whether Mamradze is as grateful to Russia as his leader. (Rustavi 2)