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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, August 9
Aslan Abashidze buys chocolate factory in Abkhazia

Wanted by Interpol, former head of Adjara Autonomous republic Aslan Abadshidze has made investments in Abkhazia, Rezonansi reports. Abashidze has purchased a chocolate factory in Ochamchire. This information has also been confirmed in Abkhazia. According to reports this territory was on Russian property where hazelnuts were being grown.

Mamuka Areshidze, analyst in Caucasus issues stated that during his visit to Abkhazia in 2000 he did not notice any kind of business environment in Abkhazia, however he says there was one chocolate factory on the way to Ochamchire, 'Babushkina', and now Abkhazians also say that this is property of Abashidze.

Another analyst Paata Zakareishvili says that some investments have been made in Abkhazia including Georgian. “But we need evidence, nothing is excluded,” Zakareishvili says. He says that Georgians are more trusted in Abkhazia than anyone, but the business is Russian, as Georgians living in Russia start business in Abkhazia.

“In the occupied territory where human rights are violated every day, it is not ethical to run a business,” MP Nugzar Tsiklauri says, adding that it will be no surprise for him if Abashidze really does have business in Georgia.

Experts criticize new law on reserve service

With the initiative of the Defense Ministry of Georgia, the authorities are making amendments to the law of reserve service in Georgia. These amendments are strongly criticized by experts who talk about possible threats we can face under new law, Rezonansi writes.

According to new amendments men aged 27 to 40 year old should spend 45 days in reserve service annually. Human rights' centre director Ucha Nanuashvili says that the speedy discussion of those amendments could have quite another reason rather than on of defense.

“These amendments to the law could be used as a ‘tool of repression’ against the people. For instance, during any protest rally held by opposition, the government could call those men in reserve who are pro-opposition oriented people. Using such a move the government will try to prevent any kind of protest rally or any kind of political events planned by opposition.

The Ministry of Defense commented there are certain changes annually and this is a working process. The ministry plans to approve final law regarding reserve service in the autumn.