Compiled By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, December 14Davit Sakvarelidze will be questioned after returning from Brussels
The Finance Ministry’s Investigative Group will wait until United National Movement (UNM) MP Davit Sakvarelidze returns from Brussels in order to question him.
Sakvarelidze was contacted by the Finance Ministry's Investigative Group on December 12th for information about his involvement in the Rike scandal. In 2006 the Tbilisi Municipal Government sold the Rike area of Tbilisi to a private developer for 7 million USD, who two years later sold the area back to the Tbilisi government for 17 million USD. Sakvarelidze was allegedly involved in the sale process.
“If he has a business trip, or another legitimate reason, we will wait, and after his return we will call him again.” Investigative Service spokesperson Natia Sukhiashvili stated. According to Sukhiashvili, Sakvarelidze did not inform the Investigative Service about his departure from Georgia. The Investigative Group learned from a TV news report that Sakvarelidze had left the country.
According to Liberali Sakvarelidze left on a "business trip" on December 12th but added that they did not know the Sakvarelidze’s return date or the real reason for his departure.
Public Institutions do not have the standard of communication with media - GYLA
“Government press centres are avoiding clarification of government figures' comments and are complicating rather than simplifying communication.” is how the Young Georgian Lawyers Association (GYLA) described the relationship between the media and Georgian government.
According to Media.ge, GYLA gave a presentation titled “Communication Standards with the Media” to journalists on December 12th.
The Georgian media’s division into “government” and “nongovernmental” media was one of the issues discussed at the presentation. According to the head of GYLA Tamar Chugoshvili, in some public institutions the delivery of information depends on the willingness of the people in power and journalists cannot receive information fairly and impartially.
Based on information received from various ministries, the reasons for low communication standards with the media were researched and identified. “Together with journalists I discovered problems in the process of receiving public information." the head of GYLA’s legal security Natia Kapanadze said.
Nonexistence of communication standards between the media and public institutions; low quality of media independence and inaccessibility of information about law enforcement activities were among the problems GYLA identified as part of its research.
According to Kapanadze, only some government organizations have attempted to ease communication with the media. Among those cited at the presentation were the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, Kutaisi City Hall and Kutaisi City Council.