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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 22
Ministry of Environmental Protection functions reassigned

The functions of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources will be divided up between several ministries, 24 Hours reports.

The corresponding bill was submitted to Parliament yesterday.

In particular, the Ministry of Agriculture will in future manage issues of agro-chemicals and pesticides, while the Public Registry will be in charge of the forest fund and land issues. The Energy Ministry will be in charge of resource management as well as of radiation-related issues and the Protected Areas Agency will move to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

15-years sentence for Eldar Davitiani

Tbilisi City Court has sentenced Eldar Davitiani, the spouse of Darejan Gordadze (detained for drug trafficking in Malaysia) to a 15-year imprisonment, 24 Hours reports.

Eldar Davitiani was convicted of trafficking a large amount of drugs, a crime which is punishable by 8-20-years or life imprisonment.

Eldar Gordaze arrived in Georgia and turned himself in following the detention of Babutsa Gordaze and Darejan Kokhtashvili in Malaysia. He pleaded guilty.

Babutsa Gordaze and Darejan Kokhtashvili face the death penalty as per Malaysian legislation.

The lawyer plans to appeal the court ruling, while the family of Gordadze is awaiting her trial in a Malaysian court, which was scheduled to begin three days ago. It was however postponed due to the absence of the expertsí final conclusions regarding the identification of fingerprints on the bag in which the police found the drugs, the testing of the drugs.

Sandro Bregadze remanded in custody

Former MP Sandro Bregadze has been remanded in custody by the Tbilisi City Court. Lawyers demanded Bregadzeís release on bail, but the judge refused the request, 24 Hours reports.

Lawyers appealed to the judge to take into account the following circumstances: Bregadze has a 17-year-old disabled child, who desperately needs his father. Bregadzeís detention has also affected his older child, who is now in need of psychological help following the stress he experienced witnessing his fatherís arrest. In addition Sandro Bregadzeís father is suffering from leukaemia and Bregadze is the only bread-winner in the family.

Bregadze has pleaded guilty to the charges and is willing to cooperate with the investigation; however the judge refused to take into account these circumstances and grant bail.

Sandro Bregadze was arrested on 17 February for hooliganism and resisting the police.