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The News in Brief

Wednesday, March 25
Irregularities are observed in high-profile cases - Public Defender

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili says he has not read the report of former Public Defender Giorgi Tugushi’s organization, but claims that irregularities and discrepancies are observed in some high-profile cases.

The Public Defender told reporters he had already sent recommendations to relevant agencies on the gaps existing in the investigation of the mentioned cases.

"There were some shortcomings and questions. We sent a number of recommendations to the relevant agencies, but I cannot term the processes as political, as did the Democratic Initiative of Georgia’s press release puts it.

As for our recommendations, they concern the cases of Goga Oniani, Gigi Ugulava, Akhalaia and some others,"- said Nanuashvili.

The Democratic Initiative of Georgia recently released a report titled “Politically Biased Justice in Georgia”, which mentions violations in the former senior officials’ cases. (IPN)

Prime Minister responds to Israel-Georgia Business chamber

I would like to comment on the initiative of President of the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business Itsik Moshe to designate a contact person at the Georgian Government to ensure communication between Israeli investors and relevant state agencies.

I have already assigned the Business Ombudsman to study the issue of Jewish investors, and a relevant decision will be made in the nearest future. (

Homemade drug use reduced by 90% in Georgia

The use of home-made drugs and import of new psychotropic substances has decreased by over 90 percent since 2013, according to the latest annual report by the US State Department.

The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 2015 says Georgia is both a transit country and destination country for illicit drugs produced in other countries.

The report says the government has implemented legislative amendments to fight illegal drug use, as well as increased the list of medical drugs that can’t be purchased without a prescription.

It also says that the estimated number of injecting drug users in Georgia, mostly male, is about 45,000, based on information from non-government organizations.

Largest heroin bust in history

Georgia is an important transit country for heroin from Afghanistan. The most significant drug trafficking route is from Afghanistan and Iran through Azerbaijan or Armenia to Georgia, then on to Western Europe, Turkey, and Russia.

An earlier State Department report published during Saakashvili said Georgian police had difficulties doing checks on the “T.I.R.”-marked trailers carrying the heroin, but in July, 2014, under the new government, a record seizure was made of 2.8 tons of liquid heroin at the border with Azerbaijan. According to the State Department, this is ‘believed to be the largest overland heroin seizure in history.’

It mentions that Georgia finalized its National Drug Strategy and Action Plan for 2014-2015 in December, 2013, and is establishing a National Drug Monitoring Center, which should be operational in 2015.

“The United States encourages Georgia to continue its strong law enforcement response to drug trafficking and its focus on drug trafficking and drug distribution investigations and prosecutions,” the report reads.

“The United States will continue to provide training and technical support on narcotics control issues, and encourage interagency cooperation.” (DF Watch)

Georgian Interior Ministry solves SOCAR gas station incident case

Georgian Interior Ministry has solved the case concerning the incident at the gas station of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, NewsGeorgia reported March 24, citing the Georgian Interior Ministry.

Previously convicted Zurab U., born 1993, has been detained on the accusation of inflicting bodily harm as a result of the operational and investigative activities.

“The investigation revealed that during a verbal skirmish at the SOCAR gas station located on Guramishvili Avenue on March 23, the detained injured the leg of the operator Zurab A. (born 1991) with a cold weapon and manager Jafar A. (born 1983) and fled the scene,” said the message.

The injured were hospitalized. Currently their health condition is satisfactory.

The police detained Zurab U. after hot pursuit down Guramishvili Avenue a few minutes after the incident. A knife, thought to have been used in the crime, was seized as material evidence.

Investigation is underway in accordance with the Article 118 of Georgia’s Criminal Code (intentional infliction of less grievous bodily harm). The detainee pleads guilty.

It should be noted that earlier, witnesses said several people attacked the gas station. (