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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 15
20 years have passed since war in Abkhazia began

August 14 is marked in Georgia as the day when the war in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia began. On August 14, 1992, in the village of Okhurei, on the order of the Chair of the Supreme Council of Abkhazia, the Abkhaz Guard opened fire on the Georgian National Guard, who then subsequently entered Abkhaz territory in order to defend the Sochi-Ingiri railway sector.

The decision to deploy the National Guard to protect the railway sector was adopted in accordance with the Chair of the Supreme Council of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba, who later became a separatist president on August 11. Despite the agreement, the Abkhaz Guard resisted the Georgian National Guard and war actions followed. The military confrontation lasted for 13 months and 13 days and finished with the fall of Sukhumi, the capital of the Abkhaz Autonomous region on September 27.

Over 10, 000 soldiers and civilians died on the Georgian side as a consequence of the military confrontation in Abkhazia. 300, 000 people were also forcefully displaced from their homes. (Rustavi 2)

Ombudsman demands that rights be given to owners to appeal property seizure

Georgia’s public defender has addressed parliament requesting that it make amendments to Georgia’s Criminal Procedure Code. InterPressNews was told by the Public Defender’s Office that the changes should enable owners to appeal seizures of their property. The Public Defender’s office has been contacted many times by individuals who believe that their property rights have been illegally restricted when their property or bank accounts are seized. Public defenders have begun to study several cases linked with the seizure of Global Consulting and Maestro’s satellite antennas, as well as the bank accounts of physical and legal individuals, the statement reads. They report that while looking into the case, it was revealed that seizing the items and the bank accounts concerned the property of the individuals, who has not yet been convicted.

“The Public Defender states that the deregulation of the issue by the law (owner is unable to appeal the seizure of his property), is a violation of the 42nd (right to fair court) and the 21st (property right) Articles of the Georgian Constitution. The Public Defender proposed to the parliament of Georgia to carry out changes to the Georgia’s Criminal Procedural Code, to create an effective means for the owner to defend his rights in court when a seizure takes place,” the statement reads. (IPN)

Two international organizations register to monitor parliamentary elections in Georgia

Two international organizations have registered to monitor Georgia’s upcoming parliamentary elections. The CEC informs that IRI and NDI are now registered. The elections will be observed by 12 local NGOs. Some of these include: Women’s Political Resource Centre, Voters League, International Organization for the Protection of Truth and Justice, Oppressed Inmates and Social Provision; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Transparency International –Georgia, Eurasian Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, the Georgian Union of Democratic Principles and Human Rights Protection; International Society of Fair Elections and Democracy, Union of Fight Against Economic Crime, Corruption and Contraband and the movement Save Life. (IPN)

Ruling party continues nomination majoritarian MP candidates

The United National Movement continues to nominate majoritarian MP candidates. On Tuesday, Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Bakradze, introduced three MP candidates in Marneuli, Gardabani and the Tsalka districts. They are Azer Suleimanov (Marneuli); Giorgi Peikrishvili (Gardabani), where he currently chairs the local self-government Sakrebulo, and Revaz Shavlokhashvili (Tsalka), where he is the governor of the district currently. The speaker nominated all three candidates at the newly-opened mechanization center, where he also spoke about the government’s priorities in the agriculture sector. (Rustavi 2)

Rain floods streets in Poti

Monday night’s rain has flooded streets in several districts of the city of Poti. Water has flooded ground floors in Nabadi, Kundzuli and the Parkisubani districts of the city. The flood caused problems with traffic on several central streets of the city as well.

Special brigades worked over night to clean up the pump systems and pump water from the ground floors of the flooded houses. They say the flood was caused by the failure of the pump station of the city. (Rustavi 2)