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The News in Brief

Friday, July 16
International finance organisations increase help to Georgia

International financial organisations are increasing their assistance to Georgia from 4.5 billion to 5 billion, it was said at a Government sitting yesterday. PM Nika Gilauri said that this assistance is being rendered by the World Bank, EBRD, the German Reconstruction and Development Bank KFW and Asian Development Bank.

The PM talked about the evaluation of the economic development of Georgia made by the Monetary Fund last week. According to the PM, the board of the Fund approved the economic policy of the government. (Interpressnews)

Georgian President interviewed by Belarus TV

The First Channel of Belarus has aired an exclusive interview with the Georgian President. The programme, Topical Interview, was broadcast at prime time yesterday.

The press service of the First Channel stated that the interview with Special Correspondent Denis Kurian would touch on many issues, including Georgia's relations with Russia and the European Union. The programme referred to the Georgian President as leader of the Georgian revolution.

The interview has irked Russian politicians. They assessed it as a response to the movies broadcast on Russian TV about President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko which called him `Europe's last dictator`. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian crime boss dies in prison in Russia

Georgian crime boss Giorgi Managadze, nicknamed Gia Kutaisski, has died. According to preliminary analysis Managadze, 40, died from coronary insufficiency in the prison hospital of the Komi Republic of the Russian Federation.

Managadze served several prison sentences. In 2008 he was detained on board a ship where famous Georgian crime boss Tariel Oniani had arranged a meeting of leading criminals. 41 people were arrested, and though Managadze tried to escape the militia arrested him.

Gia Kutaisski was sentenced to compulsory deportation to Georgia and sent to an isolator for pretrial detention. He escaped from there, but was rearrested. Police found arms and drugs on him following a search. Managadze was sentenced to 20 months detention. (Rustavi 2)

12 members of criminal network arrested

The Imereti Regional Police Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has arrested twelve people suspected of being members of a criminal network - Nugzar Buchuadze, Aleksandre Bandzeladze, Avtandil Uglava, Merab Mikaberidze, Aleko Dolaberidze, Koba Choladze, Elguja Pantskhava, Emzar Zurabiani, Gocha Liparidze, Teimurz Gureshidze, Gocha Kopaliani and Levan Avaliani.

The suspects had ongoing contact with a fugitive crime boss residing in Greece at present, Kosta Bobokhidze, nicknamed Dzakunia, and another crime boss, Jeiran Kintsurashvili, currently residing in Belgium. They had telephone contact with allies in Georgia who demanded shares of the winnings of people who made personal bets. They also threatened a local businessman with murder if he did not give them a share of his business.

An investigation is in progress. The police found a gun while searching the suspects` homes. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party accuses Government of cutting off water supply to Georgian villages

The Labour Pary has accused the Government of cutting off water supplies to Georgian villages in the Georgia-Ossetia conflict zone. Party member Paata Jibladze stated at a press conference on July 14 that President Saakashvili’s Government cut off the supply itself but wants Russia to take the blame. "They want to make the population of Shida Kartli leave the villages”, stated Jibladze.

The water has already been cut off for a month and a half in some villages. Representatives of Shida Kartli region villages were intending to come to Tbilisi to complain about this, but following Jibladze’s statement the local authorities intimidated the taxi drivers and refused to let them take local people to Tbilisi.

One villager from Lamiskana, Vazha Navrozashvili, did manage to get to Tbilisi. He stated at the Labour Party’s press conference that the local population is facing the prospect of hunger.

“We do not know if it was the Russians who cut off the water supply or not. Politics is involved here, but farmers are not interested in politics. The Government wants us to pay for water consumption and we are ready to pay, however we have not been supplied with irrigation water for a month and a half,” stated Navrozashvili. (Prime News)

350,000 sheep to be exported to Arab countries in 2010

Over 350,000 sheep will be exported to Arab countries by the end of 2010. President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili stated this at a meeting with Governors and the President’s envoys to the regions on July 14.

Saakashvili said that each sheep exported to Arab countries costs USD 70. There is a demand for 1.5 million sheep from export companies. He stated that serious attention should be paid to the development of this branch of agriculture 2 million sheep could be bred twice a year in Georgia. (Prime News)