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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 1
Why will information on court cases be removed from the public domain?

Rezonansi writes that Parliament has decided that public information accumulated in the executive bodies relating to disputes in the international courts will not be made available to the public any longer. The opposition and analysts call this decision a "manifestation of anti-democratic tendencies" and lawyers say it is unconstitutional, as it is incompatible with European Conventions and there is no need to make any such amendment.

Lasha Todria, one of the authors of the draft law, explains that the position the state will take in a specific court case should not be the subject of public discussion because court practice dictates that it be presented to the court only. "There is no talk about restricting the availability any public information. The discussion is about whether international disputes should be the subject of public debate or not. Any person may ask for information but the state's position in disputes at the international courts should not be known beforehand. Parties enjoy the right to see this information on the instruction of the court, but the position the state is taking should not be made public. It will be made public after the court makes a final decision though, so I cannot understand where there find these violations of the European Convention they allege," Lasha Todria says.



Paata Zakareishvili Clinton is coming to revise relations

Conflicts expert Paata Zakareishvili states in an interview with Akhali Taoba that, "We should take into account the fact that Hillary Clinton is not only visiting Georgia. She is going to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland and Ukraine. Clinton is coming to conduct a kind of revision of US relations with the above listed countries.

"It is reasonable that Clinton is not only visiting Georgia. She is coming to gain information on the countries Russia has problems with, especially after the Obama-Medvedev meeting in Washington. The same happened when Biden visited Georgia a week later Obama visited Moscow," Zakareishvili states.

Asked if the visit might be being prompted by some agreement about Georgia achieved between Russia and America, the analyst says, "I doubt that there is any such agreement. We should give up composing such legends. No one makes any bargains about Georgia behind the scenes. The USA will not make any bargain with Russia against the interests of Georgia."

On another issue he states: "The EU has obviously not given us what we hoped for. Certain privileges have been given to those who often visit Europe but not everyone. For instance, I often have to visit Europe; before I paid 60 Euro for a visa, now I will pay only 30, and I will get it in a day instead of three. But the visa regime is stricter for those secretly trying to enter Europe. This step is not taken against Georgia but for the security of Europe.

"This is why Georgia has started to have contact with Iran. If we have positive relations with Iran, many Iranian tourists will come to Georgia because they are not allowed to go anywhere else. Borders are locked everywhere for them. In the event of visa simplification many tourists will come from Iran and this which will facilitate the development of business in the country. Saakashvili seems to be banking on this. But we will not be attractive for Europe and European structures any longer if this happens," Zakareishvili states.

"I remind you that there are four Presidents in Georgia, all elected unconstitutionally. They are Baghapsh, Kokoity, Sanakoev and Saakashvili. None of them have been elected in conformity with the Constitution of Georgia," he adds.