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The News in Brief

Thursday, January 29
Investigation launched against ex-Interior Ministry officials

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation against four ex-Interior Ministry officials.

In a written statement released yesterday, the Office said on the basis of the letter received from the Public Defender’s Office, an investigation had been launched into a criminal case on the count of preparation of premeditated murder under aggravating circumstances and exceeding official powers.

The Office said that in July 2008 Interior Ministry’s then-officials Irakli Pirtskhalava, Kakha Legashvili, Giorgi Khizanishvili and Giorgi Chanturia, allegedly, having exceeded their official powers, detained citizen L. Sh., and by applying psychological pressure and transferring drugs, in exchange for freedom persuaded him/her to commit premeditated murder of Ia Metreveli, the mother of Buta Robakidze, a young man who was shot and killed by a patrol police officer in November, 2004.

Along with Sandro Girgvliani and Zurab Vazagashvili’s death cases, Robakidze’s murder was one of the most discussed and controversial cases during ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s term in Georgia. (

According to a Freedom House report, Georgia remains a partially free country

The NGO Freedom House has published a report “Discarding Democracy: Return to the Iron Fist”.

The document assesses 195 countries in total. 89 (46%) of them are assessed as free, 55 (28%) - as partially free and 51 (26%) as not free. Georgia is among the 55 which are assessed as partially free. Georgia has three points in a 7-point scale, in which higher number means lower freedom index.

According to Freedom House, the situation is at its worst in Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somali, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. (IPN)

“Levan may not be trained as a diplomat, but he has done a great job for Georgia”

NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai has positively assessed Georgia’s permanent representative to NATO, Levan Dolidze’s activity.

“Goodbye dinner for Georgia's superb ambassador to NATO, Levan, and his charming wife Ketevan. He may not be trained as a diplomat, but he has done a great job for Georgia. Also had the pleasure of meeting Georgia's ambassador to the EU, who has obviously also done a lot to help ensure Georgia's European future”, Appathurai posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday. (Frontnews)

Analyst claims alleged killer of Vazagashvili left for Turkey

"I have information that the alleged murderer of Yuri Vazagashvili has left the territory of Georgia passing through the Turkish border. There are clues that the law enforcement officers are involved in this murder case. But I cannot tell you if they are the former and current ones. I suggest that Yuri Vazagashvili’s case will be solved. As for the murder of his son Zura Vazagashvili, this case has been solved a long time ago; we all know who are the culprits, however, they have not been brought to justice so far. I’d like to respond to Ia Metreveli’s statement – she tells us how her killing was being planned. I think that the previous government officials got rid of Irina Enukidze, too, while the fate of Vazagashvili was determined by his meeting with the ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili. Vazagashvili proved to Ivanishvili that he was still being deceived,"- Mamuka Areshidze, political analyst, expert in Caucasian issues said at the information-analytical portal “Kvira” Press Club. Today, Ia Metreveli also responded to the issue of leaving the territory of Georgia by Yuri Vazagashvili’s alleged murderer. "If it’s true, so, the murderer is known. I wonder how he has managed to cross the border ", - said Metreveli. (

Mayor’s office doubles assistance to socially vulnerable

Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania stated that the families who are on the list of socially vulnerable will get doubled social vouchers in 2015.

“We are going to spend 19 million GEL in this direction in 2015. We keep our promises given to voters in pre- elections period.” Narmania said. (The Messenger)

Switzerland conveys condolences to Ukraine in regard of shelling in Mariupol on 24 January 2015

On behalf of the Government and People of Switzerland Ambassador Guenther Baechler paid a visit to the Ukrainian Embassy in Georgia to express deep condolences to the Government and People of Ukraine in regard of shelling of residential areas in Mariupol.

On 28 January 2015 Ambassador of Switzerland Guenther Baechler paid a condolense visit to the Ukrainian Embassy in Tbilisi and expressed its deepest symphathy and sincere condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives in the course of Ukrainian crisis.

Switzerland sharply condemns the shelling of residential areas in Mariupol on 24 January 2015 resulting in at least 30 civilians killed and a very high number of injured persons.

It calls on all sides to strictly adhere to the principles of International Humanitarian Law and for the immediate resumption of talks. (Embassy of Switzerland to Georgia)