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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 2
Public Defender's authority to be increased

The authority of the Public Defender of Georgia will be increased after lawmakers approve the legislative initiative which has been submitted to Parliament.

According to the amendments to the law on Public Defense, the Ombudsman or a member of a special prevention group, will be authorized to monitor human rights in homes for the elderly, in orphanages and in psychiatric clinics. Additionally the Ombudsman will be granted a status of "Friend of the constitutional court" which will enable citizens to verbally express their opinion on a specific case during court hearings.

"There were gaps that will be regulated by new legislation and these competencies will be clearly laid out, " said the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights, Lasha Tordia. The Ombudsman hailed the amendments, expressing his hope that the new legislation will close gaps that kept his office from working effectively. (Rustavi 2)

North Atlantic Councilís visit to Georgia is important Ė Manana Manjgaladze

The North Atlantic Councilís visit to Georgia is scheduled for 9-10 November. It will promote deeper relations and future partnerships between Georgia and NATO, according to the Presidentís Spokeswoman Manana Manjgaladze. NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen will attend the Council and will hold meetings with Georgian officials. (Interpressnews)

Georgian, Kyrgyz planes collide on the ground

A Kyrgyz plane slightly damaged a Georgian aircraft parked the in Erzurum Airport in the Turkish province of Van, Anadolu reported. The planes were delivering aid consignments to the quake-hit area. As a result of the collision, both aircrafts suffered minor wing damage but the crew members were not injured. Turkish media blamed the accident on the Kyrgyz pilot who made a false maneuver during parking. Details are being investigated. (Rustavi 2)

Parole Commission grants appeals for 36 convicts

The Parole Commission has discussed prisoners' appeals and approved 36 for the month of October. The Commission discusses appeals at the end of each month, considering each case, in the presence of the lawyers of the prisoners. (Rustavi 2)

Man arrested for running illegal casino

Georgian citizen Andranik Muradyan, 32, has been arrested for running an illegal casino in Tbilisi. According to the investigation, Muradyan rented tables to players who paid 30 Gel to participate in poker tournaments, 10% of which was paid to Muradyan. In addition, the owner of the business imposed rules of payment between winners and losers. An investigation is underway by the Special Operations Department of the Ministry of Interior. (Rustavi 2)