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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 16
Ex-Deputy Interior Minister released on bail

On May 15 Tbilisi City Court turned down the prosecution’s motion for sending former first deputy interior minister, Gela Khvedelidze, to pretrial detention and ordered his release on GEL 5,000 bail.

Khvedelidze has been charged with breach of privacy rights in connection to the case involving the leak of a secretly recorded threesome sex video, which purportedly featured a man who had recently been fiercely criticizing various senior officials, including Khvedelidze.

Khvedelidze has been charged under the third part of Article 157 of the criminal code, which deals with the "illegal use of private or family secrets and/or its distribution” by a person authorized to secure the secrecy of such information. The charges carry either a financial penalty or imprisonment for three years.

A preliminary hearing on the merits of the criminal case against Khvedelidze is scheduled for July 2. (Civil.Ge)

Minister Zakareishvili foresees prospects in relations with Abkhazians and Ossetians

As soon as Saakashvili steps down, Georgia's relations with Abkhazians and S. Ossetians could improve, Minister for Reintegration, Paata Zakareishvili stated after meeting representatives of the monitoring committee of the Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe. Zakareishvili said the only topic on the meeting was the relations with the conflict zones. Namely, how the relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia can be regulated. He said the new president will become the government’s ally and not an opponent. (IPN)

ISAF Defense Chiefs express condolences

General Philip Breedlove, the new Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, extended his deepest condolences over the deaths of Georgian soldiers on May 13 in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense of Georgia reports. The chiefs of NATO member and partner countries participating in the ISAF mission also expressed sympathy to the Chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Colonel Irakli Dznelazde and the families of the dead and wished the wounded soldiers fast recovery.

Col. Irakli Dznelazde attended the 169th NATO Chiefs of Defense meeting. Within the two-day conference the Military Committee will discuss the planning of the new NATO post-2014 mission in Afghanistan. The Chiefs of Defense will review the progress of military-to-military cooperation, as well as exchanging views on issues of regional security with NATO’s special Partners – Georgia, Ukraine and Russia. (IPN)

International companies study investment opportunities in Georgia

Finance Minister of Georgia, Nodar Khaduri, met with representatives of international companies that operate in the field of exploration of new potential investment markets.

The delegation consisted of managing investment companies Eaton Vance, Standard Bank, Gulf International Bank and Global Evolution. The delegation concerned itself with the investment environment in the country, as well as the development opportunities of industries that have potential for investments. During the meeting, the Georgian Finance Minister acquainted the guests with the investment and business environment, legislative basis, tax and customs systems and the priorities of the government. Khaduri expressed a hope that the meeting will help the investors obtain more information about the investment potential of Georgia. (Trend)

German business interested in construction in Georgia

The visit of the German businessmen to Georgia began on Tuesday. Georgia is visited by a group of German investors, who arrived in the country at the organization of the Ministry of Economics and Technology of Germany and the German economic unification of eastern and central Europe (OMV), reported the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.

The purpose of the visit is to get acquainted with the possibilities of the development of the construction business in Georgia and the participation of German capital in the process.

The businessmen met with the Minister for Regional Development David Narmania.

The meetings with the representatives of different state and private structures are also planned. Tomorrow, the delegation will view the construction of highways in the Agara-Ruisi area.

The visit will end on May 19. (Trend)

According to Gallup 91% of Georgians feel safe walking at night

91% of the Georgian population feels safe walking alone at night in the area where they live, according to the Gallup 2012 survey results. Only 8% answered negatively to the question: “How safe do you feel walking alone at night?”

Gallup conducted a survey in 134 countries. The population of 31 countries feel safe in the town they life walking alone at night.

The highest percentage of safety is in Qatar – 92%. According to Gallup, Venezuela and South African residents feel the least safe in their cities. 74% of Venezuelan and 73% of South African residents are afraid to walk alone at night. According to the Gallup survey, residents of U.S. France, Germany and other developed countries fell less safe than Georgian citizens in their cities. (IPN)

Georgia’s wine export statistics for April 2013

According to the Georgian National Wine Agency, a total of 1,689,749 liters of wine (0.75-liter bottles) were exported to 30 countries in April, 2013. The overall export as of April amounts to 5,071,158 liters, being 32% higher compared with the same period of last year.

Five leading export destinations of Georgian wine are as follows: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia and Poland, where Ukraine holds 43% of the total volume of exports.

There was a significant growth of export in Latvia and Poland in April 2013: 38% and 34% respectively compared to the same period last year. (Hvino News)