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The News in Brief

Friday, February 6
US Secretary of State to visit Georgia

Unites States Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Georgia in the near future.

The visit was announced by Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tamar Beruchashvili while summing-up her official visit to the US.

Beruchashvili noted that in the near future a plenary session within the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter would be held in Tbilisi, during which the John Kerry visit will take place.

The Strategic Partnership Charter is one of the formats of Georgia-US partnership, within which important issues of bilateral relations are discussed several times a year.

Georgian Foreign Minister also said that the Trade and Economic Mission of the Commerce Department was planning to visit Georgia this year, which would be a good opportunity for USA to get introduced to the investment climate in Georgia.

"This visit will be another important step towards the development of trade and economic relations between USA and Georgia,” Beruchashvili said.

The official visit of Georgian Foreign Minister to the United States started on January 29 and ended on February 5. Within the visit Tamar Beruchashvili met with the Vice-President Joseph Biden and other high officials.

She also participated in the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Eastern European countries and delivered a speech at the Atlantic Council’s conference titled Toward a Transatlantic Strategy for Europe’s East. (

Three New Members of CEC Approved

Parliament endorsed on February 4 three new members of Central Election Commission (CEC), nominated by President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

Giorgi Javakhishvili, deputy finance minister, who was member of CEC in 2007-2012 from the Industrialist Party, part of the Georgian Dream ruling coalition, was elected with 86 votes.

Giorgi Chikaberidze, head of Kutaisi branch of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, received 98 votes.

Zurab Khrikadze, who failed to get enough votes in December, was this time elected as new CEC member with 105 votes.

Two candidates were nominated by the president for each of the three vacant seats.

13-seat CEC is composed of five members nominated by the President and approved by the Parliament; seven members are representatives of political parties; a separate rule is applied for selecting and electing CEC chairperson. (

Work halted on new hotel in Vake Park

City Hall temporarily halted construction work on a new hotel in Vake Park in central Tbilisi on Wednesday.

Environmental activists from a group called Guerrilla Gardening gathered in the park warning that the workers are in violation of law when they continue the construction work on the Budapest Hotel inside the park.

City Hall’s surveillance service also arrived and told the worker to stop the construction work because the company doesn’t have the proper documents.

The company was recently fined for minor violations of construction regulations and was prohibited from resuming work until the faults are corrected.

Nikoloz Porchkhidze from Tiflis Kostava Group, which is carrying out the construction, said they have been working to improve the faults from January 27, while in parallel continuing the construction work, but were on Wednesday prohibited from continuing work there.

Vake Park lies in the west of the capital at the end of Chavchavadze Avenue. Protests against the plans for a new hotel inside the park began more than a year ago. Environmental activists want Tbilisi authorities to find an alternate location for the hotel. (DF Watch)

Alleged murderers of Zurab Vazagashvili and Alexandre Khubulov sent to pre-trial detention

Tbilisi City Court has ordered pre-trial detention for the people arrested in relation with the Zurab Vazagashvili and Alexandre Khubulov case.

The pre-trial detention was requested by the Prosecutor’s Office, an InterPressNews correspondent reports from the courthouse.

The judge did not satisfy the motion of the defence regarding release of the detainees on bail.

The Prosecutor’s Office arrested 11 people and indicted one in absentia in relation with the 2006 special operation case two days ago.

Those detained are: former Deputy Head of the CPD Irakli Pirtskhalava , former Deputy Head of the MIA Central Criminal Detective Police Giorgi Tsaadze, former investigator Levan Berodze; former Head of Tbilisi’s Special task force and his deputy Giorgi Gulbiani; special task force members: Iason Meladze, Aleksandre Tsimakuridze, Zurab Jokhadze, Davit Alelishvili, Soso Chakvetaia and Aleksandre Sanikidze.

Zurab Vazagashvili and Alexandre Khubulov were killed during a special operation on 2 May 2006. (IPN)