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The News in Brief

Monday, January 14
His Holiness played a big role in showing Georgian nation the right way- Bidzina Ivanishvili

His Holiness played a big role in the life of the Georgian nation, he helped the nation to choose the "right way" when atheism had been dominating in the country, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said in his speech at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Ivanishvili said Christianity is not only faith for the Georgian people, but it is a great part of the Georgian culture. “My dear people, we are sincerely celebrating the anniversary of our beloved patriarch. I wish him a long life and health for the well-being of our nation,” said Ivanishvili. The PM also thanked the World Patriarch, for his visit to Georgia.

Former Georgian Defense Minister Released On Bail

An appeals court in Tbilisi has released former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili on bail.

The decision on January 11 was made one day after an 11-year prison sentence imposed on Okruashvili was overturned. He received the sentence in 2008 after being tried in absentia and convicted on a bribery charge. Okruashvili left Georgia in 2007 to avoid the trial. He was arrested last November when he arrived in Tbilisi after spending five years in Europe.

On January 8, the Georgian Prosecutor-General's Office announced that the recently filed charges of abuse of office and illegal business activities had been dropped. Okruashvili still faces two other charges -- the formation of an illegal armed group and negligence. He returned to Georgia days after the country's new government launched an investigation against a number of former Interior Ministry officials

Adeishvili’s case sent to Interpol’s Tbilisi bureau

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia has sent the appropriate documents to the Tbilisi Bureau of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the case of former justice minister Zurab Adeishvili. The same documents will be sent to Interpol's head office in Lyon, France and Georgia will seek a red notice for the arrest of the fugitive ex-minister.

The legal department of Interpol will probe into the details of the case on the grounds of which the decision to arrest Adeishvili will be taken.

The former minister is charged with the misuse of authority, organizing prisoners` mistreatment and abuse, as well as rigging documents for a particularly grave crime and organizing criminal provocations.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian Dream’s offices closed across the country

The offices of the Georgian Dream Coalition have been closed since the first days of January, 2013. Nobody but guards work in the offices in all the regions of Georgia. The members of the GD initiative group have objected to this fact saying they were not officially instructed to close the offices. Group member Demur Giorkhelidze disapproves of this fact. He says it is quite intelligible that people cannot meet the Prime Minister, but as far as he knows, they could not even meet with vice-speaker Manana Kobakhidze.

Kobakhidze says these offices were the headquarters of the coalition opened for parliamentary elections, but currently, the party is in the process of reorganization, which includes opening new offices. Poti single mandate MP Eka Beselia has also explained the closure of GD offices as the part of the reorganization, though she asserts the Poti office was not closed and it still receives citizens.
(Rustavi 2)

Interior Ministry to Saakashvili: 'Refrain from Discrediting Police'

The Interior Ministry has denied President Saakashvili’s allegation that cases of bribe-taking by patrol police were detected since the new government came into power. “There has not been a single case of bribe-taking by the patrol police,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement on January 10.

“We call on everyone, including the President to refrain from making statements that tarnish the reputation of employees of the Interior Ministry,” it said. “Leveling such allegations without providing specific facts only serve to deliberately discredit the police and the ministry as a whole.”

In his remarks while presenting the new governor of Samegrelo region in the town of Zugdidi on January 10, President Saakashvili also said that the government was putting into various public offices corrupt former officials who served during Eduard Shevardnadze’s presidency.

“In one of the districts of Samegrelo, a person has been appointed as the chief of police whose nickname is kulaba [money box],” Saakashvili said. The Interior Ministry said in its statement that no one with such nickname had been appointed.