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The News in Brief

Friday, April 29
Giorgi Tughushi – Abuse of Authority by Officials is Serious Problem

Public Defender Giorgi Tughushi said at a meeting with the Christian Democrats in parliament that the abuse of authority by officials is a serious problem.

Tuighushi said that delays in investigations are a serious problem as it often has a knock on effect in the penitentiary system.

The Public Defender remembers that cases of harm inflicted on the bodies of inmates are often brushed aside as football injuries or falls from bed, which is not realistic.

Tughushi noted that abuse of authority by police was especially problematic in western Georgia, Kutaisi, Batumi and Zugdidi, though it was mentioned that the policemen were punished by dismissal.

Tughushi notes that administrative punishment is not sufficient but these matters are not taken any further in the Ministry of Corrections. Last year over 30 policemen were dismissed for abuse of power but none by the Ministry of corrections and legal assistance. (Interpressnews)

Russia’s Foreign Department’s Protest Note To Georgia

Russia’s Foreign department is accusing Georgia of provocation against a citizen of Russia and has issued a protest note.

Interfax informs that an official representative of Russia’s foreign department Aleksey Sazanov states, citizen of Russia, Marina Bitsadze-Rodionova became the subject of an attack while undergoing security checks at Tbilisi airport. On 19 April, Marina Bitsadze-Rodionova was detained in Tbilisi airport.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the citizen of Russia was detained for more than 4 hours. They took her mobile phone and credit cards.

Russian media informs that Bitsadze-Rodionova is a close relative of ex-speaker of parliament of Georgia Nino Burjanadze. Nino Burjanadze stated after the incident that the government of Georgia is spying on her family members and demanded video recordings from the airport.

Sazanov said that Russia doesn’t intend to neglect such incidents. He added that the incident proves that Saakashvili’s regime violates internationally recognized human rights and humanitarian norms. (Interpressnews)

Manana Manjgaladze – Pardon Procedures Followed Regarding Israeli Businessmen Case

The administration of the President of Georgia is considering pardon procedures after a plea from the family of the detained Israeli businessmen.

InterPressNews tried to find out the result of the request from the businessmen’s family to pardon them from the Georgian President's spokesperson Manana Manjgaladze.

“I confirm that the request of the Israeli businessmen’s family members has been received by the Presidential administration. We state that all are equal before the law and the case will not be discussed separately. We’ll follow all procedures”, Manjgaladze said.

First the administration will demand materials from the Ministry of Corrections and after studying them send to the parole board.

Israeli businessmen were arrested in October 2010, accused of an attempt to bribe Deputy Minister of Finance of Georgia. Rony Fuchs was sentenced to 7 years, Zeev Frenkiel to 6 years and 6 months in prison. (Interpressnews)

Georgian Sailors in India Ask For Help

Georgian sailors working in India have launched a cry for help.

Family members of the sailors state that they are in intolerable living conditions. According to the sailors’ relatives, they are being kept at a hotel and sailors have no right to leave the premises.

A Turkish ship “Mirage” swimming under the Panama flag sank in the Indian Ocean on March 29. Among the surviving crew members were Georgian, Azerbaijan and Turkish citizens.

The company who own the ship cannot provide an exact date for when the sailors will return.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Georgia, several procedures are needed in order to return sailors to Georgia. (Prime-News)

17 year-old minors will be allowed to apply for driving licence

17 year-old citizens of Georgia will be able to obtain driving licenses after taking a special course at public schools - Ministers of Interior and Education announced the new legislative initiative at the government session yesterday.

Vano Merabishvili said the driving licenses would be issued to minors only under the consent of their parents, but their rights would be restricted as they would not be allowed to take passengers.

The owners of the special driving licenses will be able to change to standard licenses when they become 18. Only the standard licenses meet the international standards. The minors will be deprived of their licenses in case they violate the driving rules. The school pupils will take a course in theory at schools at the end of which they will have to pass a test. The minors, who pass the practice tests successfully, will obtain driving licenses for free.

Education Minister Dimitri Shashkini said the police academy would train teachers, who will afterwards conduct theory courses at schools. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian arrested for killing his partner in Ukraine

A Georgian national will be tried for the murder of his partner in Ukraine - Ukrainian news agencies have reported. The identity of the suspect has not been reported yet, however, according to the preliminary information, he is a 41 year-old Georgian, who served in the special task unit during the Abkhazia war in the 90s and is a retired military serviceman, who has lived in Ukraine for the past few years.

As news agencies are reporting, he had an argument about financial issues with his Ukrainian business partner at one of the cemeteries in Kiev,. The victim was allegedly one of the Georgian suspect's debtors. The identity of the killed Ukrainian citizen is not known either but law enforcers say he is 59 years-old and had several convictions against his name. (Rustavi 2)