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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 19
Giorgi Gamsakhurdia laughs at former US agent's information

Giorgi Gamsakhurdia, son of the first President of Georgia late Zviad Gamsakhurdia, did not take the information of a former U.S. intelligence agent seriously.

As Gamsakhurdia told InterPressNews that he was amused by the news that a former agent of

U.S. Intelligence reported that in September 1992, Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived in a house with the family of the first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia in Grozny.

“I was In Chechnya in September 1992. Then I met a person called Bin Laden. The meeting was held in a two-storey house; Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s family lived on the upper floor. Our meeting was held on the first floor – Osama lived there”, Berkan Iashar said in an exclusive interview with Russia’s First channel. Iashar now lives in Turkey and is involved in politics.

He claims that Bin Laden died a natural death 5 years ago.

Ethnic Chechen Berkan Iashar expressed his desire to give an interview to correspondent Anton Vernikis.

Berkan’s answer to the question whether he believes Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by Americans, was: ‘Even if the whole world believes it, I can’t”. (Interpressnews)

Five of seven Georgians released from court hall

Five of seven Georgian citizens, who were arrested on suspicion of murdering a 73-year-old Turkish employer and robbing his family, have been released from detention. The hearing lasted two hours and the judge ruled that the five Georgians had no ties with the murder and the robbery.

The two other - Rostom Silagadze and Zviad Sanodze will be tried for murder and robbery. They have already been transferred to the Rize institute.

Based on the testimony of the two defendants, Turkey`s police are searching for two other people nicknamed Kitaitsi and Mahmud. The defendants said the robbery and murder was planned by the two but that they did not plan to kill the elderly man.

The murder occurred a few days ago in the city of Rize, Turkey. A 73 year-old man was killed and his wife brutally beaten up. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party urges MFA to recall ambassador from Azerbaijan

The Georgian Labour Party is urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recall the Ambassador of Georgia from Azerbaijan. Soso Shatberashvili of the opposition party voiced the position of party at a briefing held outside the Foreign Ministry yesterday, accusing the Ambassador of insulting ethnic Georgians who reside in Azerbaijan and general negligence.

`These people are prohibited from studying their native language, to have their original names; Georgian churches and monasteries are closed in Saingilo, as well as schools and other culture centers and our Ambassador watches this happen and does nothing,` Shatberashvili said and added the ambassador did not respond to the loss of a large amount of Georgian territory, which is now within the borders of Azerbaijan due to the change of the river bed.

Shatberashvili said their address was not accepted at the Ministry chancellery and they will send it to the Ministry via e-mail instead. (Rustavi 2)

Number of teams in national football championship increases

The number of teams participating in Georgia`s top Football League will increase from ten to twelve - the President of the Georgian Football Federation, Zviad Sichinava announced at the briefing today.

`We have prepared a project of a new system for the championship, we want teams to only think about playing a game,` Sichinava said and added that the prize fund will be increased to a minimum of one million GEL.

The new project will be sent to the heads of the first and the supreme leagues tomorrow and will be adopted by the executive commission on May 20. (Rustavi 2)

Speaker hosted delegation from Korea

Georgian Parliament Speaker, Davit Bakradze hosted the delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea in Parliament today. The sides discussed economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries and Korean investments in Georgia.

The members of the Korea-Georgia friendship group will meet with MPs and the representatives of Tbilisi's municipal government during the visit.

The delegation also intends to discuss cooperation at the meetings with the ministers of energy and economics. (Rustavi 2)