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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 20
Israeli President calls Saakashvili about arrest

President Shimon Peres phoned Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili earlier this week and asked him to make sure the two Israeli businessmen who were arrested in Georgia last Thursday were treated well, reports the Israeli edition Haaretz.

The two men – Ron Fuchs and Ze'ev Frenkiel were arrested on suspicion of attempting to bribe Georgian Deputy Finance Minister Avtandil Kharaidze to stymie an appeal by the Georgian government in a London court over a $90 million arbitration award obtained against the government. Peres asked Saakashvili to ensure the authorities conduct a fair investigation of the two and that they receive a fair trial.

He also asked his Georgian counterpart’s help in arranging a doctor's appointment for Fuchs as soon as possible and to make sure he receives the medication he needs.

‘I know Fuchs,’ Peres reportedly told Saakashvili on the telephone. A presidential aide said yesterday it was a routine call the president makes to help Israelis apprehended overseas. ‘It is not an attempt to release the businessmen but a request for humanitarian aid and a meeting with a doctor,’ the aide said.

Israeli businessmen Ron Fuchs and Ze'ev Frenkiel were arrested in Georgia on October 14. (Interpressnews)

New NATO representative for South Caucasus

NATO spokesman, James Appathurai will become the representative of the NATO Secretary General to South Caucasus by the end of November. The Canadian diplomat will replace Robert Simons in the post.

On Thursday NATO announced that it has given a woman its top press job for the first time in its 61-year history as it has hired international journalist Oana Lungescu as spokeswoman. NATO has made efforts over the years to open up its traditionally male-dominated upper ranks to women. The current spokesman’s deputy is a woman, but Lungescu’s appointment takes the process a step up the career ladder.

“I’m pleased to announce that Oana Lungescu has accepted my offer to become the new NATO spokesperson,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen told journalists in Brussels.

Lungescu takes up her new job on December 1. She replaces James Appathurai, a Canadian, who is moving to the South Caucasus position within NATO. (Rustavi 2)

Russianoil in Abkhazia - illegally

“Official Tbilisi considers the intention of the company Russianoil to participate in the development of deposits on the shelf of the Black Sea in Abkhazia as illegal,” stated Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Nino Kalandadze at a briefing, held on October 18.

“This kind of work will be considered illegal. It is dangerous from an environmental point of view, and is a violation of international law,” Kalandadze said.

According to the Deputy Minister, Georgia is actively cooperating with international organisations to prevent the similar actions.

“We are unable to implement effective steps, even when our Ministry of Environment is very actively working with international organisations, which say almost every day that they are interested in preventing such illegal actions,” Kalandadze said.

According to the Russian media, the head of Russianoil, Edward Hudaynatov stated that the company intended to participate in the development of deposits on the shelf of the Black Sea together with Abkhazia. (Prime-News)

Occupiers and Occupied sign rail agreement

Russia and occupied Abkhazia have signed an agreement on direct railway communication.

According to Russian news agencies, the agreement on direct railway connection regulates the rail communication between Russia and Abkhazia. In Russia - the boundary railway station is considered “Vesseloe” and in Abkhazia – “Tsandripshi”.

An agreement between Russia and occupied Abkhazia was also signed for coordination of effectiveness in the sea transport sector. (Prime-News)

Tbilisi City Assembly website hacked

Yet another cyber attack has been carried out on a Georgian website. Tbilisi city assembly reports that their official website has been hacked. The hackers have deleted all the data of their website.

The website was created by ITDS Company. The authorities say they have already launched the reconstruction of the website. They also say the website worked normally until late last night. (Rustavi 2)

Two arrested for offering bribe

The Tbilisi Prosecutor’s Office arrested lawyer Murtaz Kldiashvili and citizen, Usuf Mamedov on suspicion of document forgery and machinations. The suspects were trying to obtain a false psychiatric expertise evaluation for the court.

Mamedov and Kldiashvili offered 50,000 GEL to an expert-psychiatrist to issue the forged document.

The detainees will face 4 years in prison if found guilty. (Rustavi 2)