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The News in Brief

Tuesday, September 25
Georgia’s consul to Barcelona steps down

Paata Papuashvili, Georgia’s consul to Barcelona has stepped down. "I want to express my sorrow over the abuse of Georgian inmates and I want to join the Georgian people’s protest over these incidents. I am stepping down to protest against the violence," Papuashvili’s statement says. According to him, he has already addressed Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard. Paata Papuashvili had been Georgia’s consul to Barcelona for three years.

Ombudsman`s representative comments on situations in prisons

The office of the Public Defender of Georgia says the situation has improved in Georgian jails after the patrol police were substituted for local security officers and guards. The head of the prevention and monitoring department of the office of the ombudsman, Natia Imnadze says the last few days' monitoring has not revealed any incidents of violence, but she also confirmed that several inmates have gone on hunger strike. Natia Imnadze has also reported that the new mattresses have been sent to the prisons already, which was one of the main demands of the inmates. Public Defender`s office has been monitoring the situation in prisons since the video footage of the prisoners' torture and abuse were released on television. The president ordered intensive monitoring by NGOs, and ombudsman; Saakashvili also ordered to let the relatives of the prisoners meet them after undergoing registration in the prison receptions. The dates are still ongoing.
(Rustavi 2)

Mikheil Saakashvili to deliver speech at UN General Assembly

President Mikheil Saakashvili will deliver a speech at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said at yesterday’s briefing.

According to her, the exact time is not known yet, though it is known that the President of Georgia will be the fourth speaker. Kalandadze said the delegation of Georgia’s Foreign Ministry, led by Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, is already in New York.

According to Kalandadze, the Georgian side will take part in the debate within the framework of the session. Grigol Vashadze will hold 40 meetings with his foreign counterparts and international organizations. A meeting of GUAM foreign ministers will be held on 26 September. Regional cooperation will be discussed at the meeting. In addition, a session of the GUAM and the USA will be held, where foreign ministers will discuss future prospects.

Government blames opposition for militant set-up

Ten fighters were brought into Georgia and the government wants to persuade people that the group was mobilized by us, Maia Panjikidze, the spokesperson for the ‘Kartuli Otsneba’ (Georgian Dream) coalition, said at a press conference.

According to her, a trusted source provided the coalition with the above-mentioned information.

"This is another lie from the Georgian government. Turmoil is not in the interests of the ‘Kartuli Otsneba’ coalition. We are calling on people for peace. Our task is to get to the elections peacefully, because we believe we will win in the elections. Those, who doubt victory, want turmoil in the country. We want to replace the government only with democratic methods’, Panjikidze said. According to her, they will try to get more information about the above-mentioned issue.

Ivanishvili slams three opposition parties

Leader of the Georgian Dream Coalition slammed three opposition parties calling them the "pseudo-opposition" who is trying to mislead voters. Ivanishvili made this statement at the meeting with his supporters in the town of Kobuleti in the Adjara region on Sunday.

He said these opposition parties were even worse than the National Movement, as they were acting under the coats of opposition.

"The Christian Democrats, New Rights and the Labour Party are worse than the National Movement. The National Movement shows its real face, while these parties are lying as if they are not on that team. They stand on a worse position and don`t let them cheat you," Ivanishvili said.
(Rustavi 2)

Several persons arrested for smuggling unique items

Investigators of the Ministry of Justice have arrested several persons on charges of attempting to smuggle cultural heritage items. According to the investigation, these individuals had been conducting archaeological digs illegally and selling the precious items abroad. The archaeological digs were carried out in the various regions of Georgia.

The suspects were arrested at Sarpi customs of the Georgia-Turkey border. The illegally appropriated items were seized by the officers during the search. The detained suspects have cooperated with the investigation - they have already indicated the places where they were carrying out illegal digs and the sepulcher, which they were going to explore next. According to the experts of the National Museum, the sepulcher was opened and there they found precious gold items, which will be handed over to the National Museum after the investigation is over.
(Rustavi 2)