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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 24
Post-flood Tbilisi ready for European Youth Olympic Festival

The Olympic flame has arrived in Borjomi – its latest stop on its nationwide tour ahead of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), but without a festive celebration in recognition of those who lost their lives in the deadly June 13 flash flood.

The arrival of the flame in Borjomi comes days after officials visited Georgia on an unscheduled visit, and assessed all competition venues would be ready to host next month’s international competition, commonly known as Tbilisi 2015.

The Organising Committee of the 2015 EYOF decided not to welcome the flame in Borjomi with a festive celebration as a way to pay appropriate respect to the victims of the Tbilisi flood. The Olympic flame will continue its journey across the country without celebrations in each host city.

The flame will continue its pre-planned route and be symbolically lit in all 67 municipalities of the country. The torch has already visited 29 administrative centres and its journey will end in Tbilisi ahead of next month’s competition.

The Olympic torch was lit in Athens – the oldest city of Greece and the home of the Olympic Games – on May 26 to mark the beginning of the EYOF 2015, as well as symbolically recognising Georgia’s Independence Day.

Meanwhile last week a group of EYOF officials visited Georgia and inspected competition venues following the June 13 flash flood.

On June 19 members of the European Olympic Committee's Coordination Commission (COCOM) paid a special, unscheduled visit to Tbilisi to ensure the competition venues did not pose any danger to competitors or EYOF activities.

The guests visited all sporting venues and inspected construction works. At the end of the visit they said Tbilisi was ready to host the EYOF opening ceremony on July 26.

Members of European Olympic Committee's Coordination Commission saw every venue and made sure that the holding of the Olympic festival was not in danger. It was a challenge but it has been accomplished. Currently all sporting arenas are practically completed; now we are installing security systems,” said chairman of the Tbilisi 2015 Organising Committee Alexi Akhvlediani.

Chairman of COCOM Josef Liba said the group’s visit to Tbilisi was "extraordinary” and not planned.

In Baku at the European Olympic Games rumours were spread that Tbilisi was drowned in water. But now we know for sure that your government and people are mobilized and rehabilitation works are underway. We are leaving Georgia satisfied and will return back in a few weeks for the Olympic Festival,” said COCOM chairman Josef Liba.

The EYOF will see more than 4,000 youth athletes from 49 European countries descend on Georgia’s capital to participate in nine sports: judo, tennis, artistic gymnastics, track cycling, track and field athletics, swimming, volleyball, handball and basketball. (

Charges against the man accused of murdering I. Vazagashvili aggravated

On June 22, 2015, Georgia’s main prosecutor’s office made the decision to aggravate the charges of accused Giorgi Sosanashvili in the case of Iuri Vazagashvili’s premeditated murder.

The investigation revealed that the crime committed by Giorgi Sosanashvili with extraordinary cruelty on January 20, 2015 in Kaspi region’s village Kharapila, was directly related to Iuri Vazagashvili’s intense social activism and was directed towards its termination.

As became known to the public, Iuri Vazagashvili was one of the founders and active members of the social movement “Save a life”. The movement’s aims were as follows: protection of human rights in Georgia, formation of a strong civil society in the country, provision of public control over cases of abuse of authority by public servants and excessive force by the law enforcement structures, protection of victims’ rights, and restoration of justice in all fields.

By the end of 2014 and in the beginning of 2015, Iuri Vazagashvili stood out for his extraordinary activity; in public speeches he systematically demanded an objective investigation of the murder of his son Zurab Vazagashvili and punishment of those responsible. I. Vazagashvili continuously stated that he planned to make his social movement even more active and conduct protest demonstrations. The latter especially irritated G. Sosanashvili. He saw clearly that as a result of I. Vazagashvili’s social activism it was possible that the persons responsible for the murder might be brought to justice.

The investigation has revealed that what we are dealing with here is a premeditated crime, motivated by the victim’s fulfillment of his societal responsibilities. Based on the abovementioned, the charges against G.Sosanashvili ware aggravated in accordance with subparagraph “v” of part 3 of Georgian Penal Code article 109.

We would like to remind readers that G.Sosanashvili was initially charged with premeditated murder by intentionally putting the life or health of another human being in danger and for purchase, possession and carrying arms illegally. On April 17, 2015 the charges against G. Sosanashvili was aggravated to premeditated murder committed with extraordinary cruelty.

Currently, the investigation is ongoing in accordance with subparagraph “g” of part 1 of the Georgian Penal Code article 109, and subparagraphs “b” and “v” of part 3 of the same article (premeditated murder by intentionally putting the life or health of another human being in danger, committed with extraordinary cruelty and connected with the fulfillment of social activism by the victim), and part 1 and 2 of article 236 (purchase, possession, and carrying arms illegally), which is punishable by 16 to 20 years of imprisonment. (IPN)

Supreme Court Chairperson has decided to increase the number of judges

Accelerating terms and improving the quality of decisions - the new chairperson of the Supreme Court has decided to increase the number of judges. No official statement has been made in this regard, however vacancies have already been announced.

Nino Gvenetadze has already held a meeting with the Minister of Finance in order to obtain additional funding. (Rustavi2)