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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 27
Temur Giorgadze is Questioned

Chief of Tbilisi Emergency situations service Temur Giorgadze has been questioned at the prosecutorís office.

The questioning concerned the emergency medical service work on May 26, 2011, when the emergency medical service was merged with the Tbilisi Emergency situations service.

ďI was asked about the situation, how the emergency service worked and its functions. I answered as much as I could. I provided the investigation with as much information as I knew. Iím going to continue cooperation,Ē Temur Giorgadze said. He notes that he canít say anything else out of the interest of the investigation. (IPN)

Prisoner`s family demands investigation

The family of Temur Kortava, a convict who committed suicide at Rustavi's N6 prison on December 24, is demanding an unbiased investigation to reveal the reason of his death. The relatives think it was not a suicide and believe the convict was killed due to the information he had. They do not believe the suicide version of the story, as the prisoner had to be discharged under large-scale amnesty on December 28th. The Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia has published a special statement regarding this fact. "On December 24, a suicide occurred at the N6 penitentiary facility. Despite the medical treatment provided to the convict, the doctors failed to save his life. The investigation is in progress," the statement says.

The prisoner was found hung on a rope in his cell. (Rustavi 2)

MP Quits UNM Parliamentary Minority Group

A majoritarian MP from Adjaraís Keda single-mandate constituency, Iasha Shervashidze, has quit the United National Movementís (UNM) parliamentary minority group.

Shervashidze, who held the same majoritarian MP seat from Keda as a UNM member in the previous Parliament, did not provide reasons behind his decision. He became ninth MP to leave the UNM after the new Parliament was elected in October. Like Shervashidze, eight other lawmakers, who left the UNM are also majoritarian MPs. One of them joined the Georgian Dream (GD) parliamentary majority and six of them formed a separate faction, which is not a member of either parliamentary majority or minority groups, but is inclined to cooperate with the Georgian Dream. Georgiaís past parliamentary experience shows that majoritarian MPs, especially those who are not actively engaged in political life and are not high-profile political figures, are more inclined towards cooperating with a governing party.

The UNM, which originally endorsed through the party-list and the majoritarian system total 65 lawmakers in the new Parliament. It now has 56 MPs. (

Earthquake Damages Houses in Kobuleti

Several houses were damaged after an earthquake hit the Kobuleti region of Georgia. InterPressNews was told by Kubuleti's local government representatives, the quake didnít cause any destruction, though 23 houses have cracks as a result.

Local government received notices about damaged houses from village Khutsubni, Dagvi, Khala, Chakhati, Saino, Mukhaestate, Leghva, Gvara, Ochkhamuri, Tsikhidziri and Achkvistavi.

Two earthquakes hit Georgia yesterday. The seismic monitoring centre informs that 5.5 and 5 magnitude quakes were detected 29 and 32 km. from the Black sea coast at 01:44 and 1:55. The epicenter was at a depth of 10 km. The quakes were especially felt in western Georgia. There is no report of damage. A 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit Georgia on December 23. The quake damaged buildings in Imereti and Adjara. (IPN)

Opposition MP Akhalaia accuses government of persecution

Zugdidi's single-mandate MP from the United National Movement, Roland Akhalaia, does not intend to go to the prosecutor`s office for interrogation, though he reiterates that he is prepared to answer any question of the investigation publicly. Roland Akhalaia explained the reasons for his decision in his interview with Rustavi2. He says he was elected as an MP and he feels a responsibility to convince his voters that he did not violate law. (Rustavi 2)