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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 7
Former officials of the Ministry of Agriculture remain in custody

The Georgian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that after a five-hour court hearing over the so-called tractorsí case on August 5, the process was postponed to Thursday.

The lawyers of the former officials of the Ministry of Agriculture who have been accused of the misappropriation and embezzlement of an especially large amount of money expected that the prosecutorís office would discuss the issue of bail. However, Vazha Nakhutsrishvili and Givi Kaikhosroshvili remain in preliminary detention.

Kakha Kojoridze, Head of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), observed the session. Kojoridze welcomed the prosecutorís officeís decision to ask the court to bail out the detainees. He said the necessity to detain the former officials did not exist from the very beginning.

Former Minister of Agriculture, Davit Kirvalidze, said this would be a positive step forward in the legal execution of this case.

It is not yet clear whether Kirvalidze will return to the position of minister or not after quitting the job immediately after the case became public.

Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani said both the prosecutorís office and the lawyer of the former officials, Soso Baratashvili, have worked a lot over this issue, and that it is the judgeís turn to find out who is right and make the final verdict.

Seven people of the accused former officials have been released on bail. They deny any faults in the case. One of them, Mamuka Ivanidze, even spoke about the pressure placed on them from the prosecutorís office.