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Compiled by Tato Gachechiladze
Thursday, April 26
Should assault in Parliament be punished?

A physical confrontation occurred between two MPs in Parliament on Tuesday.

Georgian Troupe leader Jondi Baghaturia and government MP Azer Suleimanov started the brawl, and were soon joined by other MPs, including well-known scandal participant Akaki Bobokhidze.

A few months ago, Bobokhidze slapped Peter Mamradze on the Parliament floor. Several years before that, he assaulted TV Mze anchor Irakli Imnaishvili.

Rezonansi asked three public figures whether violence should be punished by the legislative body.

Misha Tavkhelidze (Expert): "I understand physical assault is a crime. But we should not forget that members of Parliament have immunity. One MP physically assaulted by another MP is not good but they have immunity and we will never escape."

Gia Nodia (Political Scientist): "If [it is] the type of violence that ends in someone's injury and then the victim complains, then it must be punished. Usually, if two people have a conflict as a rule there need not be a criminal case launched. But if someone has a serious physical injury, and the victim appeals in this case, it is given the qualification of the crime."

Avtandil Demetrashvili (constitutionalist): "Not only in Parliament but also the general public should be punished for violence. The Parliament’s regulations provide for such sanctions and it can use sanctions. This is a gross violation of discipline. Despite the fact that MPs have immunity, it is still not absolute immunity."

Possible bank merger by end of 2012

The National Bank has acquired some information about a potential merger between Georgian banks, but is so far keeping what they know under wraps.

By the end of the year, a group of small banks may join forces. Although the National Bank is not openly discussing the issues, it confirmed the information, Rezonansi reports.