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The News in Brief

Friday, February 10
Georgian sailors released

Seven Georgian sailors who were held captive in Ukraine's port of Odessa, together with the rest of the crew of the Philipa C, have been released after negotiations carried out by the Georgian embassy in Ukraine and the Minister of Economic Development of Georgia.

The sailors spent 24 days in captivity on the ship, with Georgian diplomats initially barred from boarding. The ship owner had locked the sailors in a cabin, forcing them to work. One of the sailors managed to telephone his relatives, who contacted the Marine Administration of Georgia.

Rustavi2 gained exclusive video of the ship, which was allegedly carrying illegal drugs. The ship departed from Istanbul in January. Reportedly, its Turkish owners were trying to export drugs from Turkey to other countries. (Rustavi 2)

Security measures reinforced in S. Ossetia

The South Ossetian government has reinforced security measures prior to the controversial presidential inauguration of Ala Jioeva. Authorities say they have imposed greater restrictions on the de-facto borders of the breakaway region in order to avoid "provocations".

Russian news agencies report that some Russian journalists are still prohibited from travelling to the region. Jioeva, whose victory was annulled by the Ossetian Supreme Court, has pushed through with an inauguration ceremony set for February 10. However, a repeat election is also scheduled for March.

Meanwhile, it has been also reported that the government has amended its constitution, wherein any potential presidential candidate must speak Russian. (Rustavi 2)

Chkhartishvili comments on Gudavadze’s legal claims

Vano Chkhartishvili has released a statement regarding the legal dispute between himself and Ina Gudavadze, deceased businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili’s wife, who has made claims against Chkhartishvili.

Chkhartishvili says that it is difficult for him to debate the wife of the man with whom he had had friendly business relations.

“It’s an issue of honour for me first of all, as it casts doubt on my reputation and the principles I have lived by my whole life," Chkhartishvili's statement read, noting that he left it to Gudavadze to choose a top audit firm to analyze the business relationship between himself and Patarkatshshvili.

"I was ready to give away any asset without conditions, upon fair demand, and follow any financial commitment the unbiased arbitrator would consider necessary. I also took responsibility of the expenses of the firm's service. Unfortunately, Mrs. Gudavadze decided otherwise," he wrote, citing the disagreement between the partners regarding Imedi Television. He believes that Imedia was a "symbol of Georgian society's freedom" and Patarkatsishvili should not have sold it to the government.

Chkhartishvili hopes that Gudavadze will not become the "blind weapon of the powers interested in discrediting my personality", and that his case will be read by an "unbiased" international court and not a Georgian one. (Interpressnews)

School director applications open

Online application for the position of director at Georgian public schools is now open. The process is carried out on the website of the National Centre for Professional Development. Any person with higher education can apply, and candidates will be tested in April.

"As a minister, I will not nominate candidates for election to the board of trustees at any school, unless the candidate has a corresponding certificate. This is a very important process, because a director is responsible [for] the management of a school and qualification here is very significant. A school principal must be a qualified person and therefore, we need the process of certification," the Education Minister said at a briefing. (Rustavi 2)