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Monday, September 21
Constitutional Court Chair Speaks of ‘Pressure’

Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Giorgi Papuashvili, said he has spoken with the Interior Minister and called on him to react ro protest rallies staged outside the homes of some court members, which he described as “pressure” on the Constitutional Court.

Pro-government groups rallied outside Papuashvili’s homes in Tbilisi and Batumi, where the Constitutional Court is based, condemning the Constitutional Court’s September 16 decision, which allowed ex-mayor of Tbilisi and one of the leaders of UNM opposition party Gigi Ugulava to be released from his 14-month pre-trial detention. Protesters were calling Papuashvili a “friend” of the UNM and accusing the Constitutional Court of taking an “anti-state” decision.

“Pressure on some judges of the Constitutional Court and their family members has intensified after the Constitutional Court delivered its decision on September 16,” Papuashvili told journalists on September 18.

“Certain individuals are rallying outside the judges’ homes, blocking it and making threats and calling for physical retribution, which endangers the security of the Constitutional Court members, as well as of their family members,” he said.

“Therefore I call on the law enforcement agencies to react promptly and adequately to these cases in order to allow the Constitutional Court to function normally,” Papuashvili said, adding that he spoke about the issue with Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili.

“On the other hand, I want to call on high-level political office holders to refrain from disseminating unchecked and incorrect information related to internal procedural issues of the [Constitutional] Court. I also expect from these politicians that they will condemn such cases of pressure on the court and its members,” the Constitutional Court chairman said.

Earlier on September 18, President Giorgi Margvelashvili released a written statement reading: “Development of the impartial, politically neutral and rule of law-based judicial system is unwavering will of the Georgian people. This process needs to be protected and strengthened.”

“There has been an attempt in recent days to politicize the judicial processes by the country’s political spectrum, as well as by the representative of a foreign government – the ex-president of Georgia,” President Margvelashvili said.

The statement does not specify who the President was referring to, but he was apparently referring to comments made by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now the Governor of the Odessa region in Ukraine, who wrote on his social media accounts after Ugulava was released: “I welcome release of the innocent Gigi Ugulava, the end of 14-month long absurd incarceration and the beginning of the end of the Russian oligarch’s regime.”

“In this political fuss, I express my support to the entire judiciary and reiterate that alongside the public, I will stand beside the judiciary on this difficult path of development of a democratic state,” President Margvelashvili said.

South Ossetia occupation regime closes the so-called border for three days

The South Ossetia occupation regime has closed the so-called border with Georgia for three days, Ossetia’s media has reported. According to the media, the border has been closed due to stiffening security norms in relation to the 25th anniversary of South Ossetia’s independence.

“Citizens will be banned to cross the state border with Georgia on 19, 20 and 21 September,” – reads the statement released by the so-called security service.

Occupied Tskhinvali marks the so-called Independence Day on September 20.

Georgia defeats Tonga in Rugby World Cup 2015

The nation's rugby team won its first game within the Rugby World Cup 2015, beating Tonga on September 19 evening.

The Lelos beat Tonga - ranked five places above the Georgian side – in the match.

The game, which ended in a 17-10 victory for the Georgian side, was held at Kingsholm, England in front of a crowd of energetic locals, Georgians and Tongans, who had travelled to the United Kingdom to watch the competition.

The Georgian team played a strong game; they played cohesively and in unison that put the opposition under pressure.

Tries for the Georgian side were scored by captain Mamuka Gorgodze and Giorgi Tkhiliashvili.

The Georgians defended brilliantly but the Tongans also were strong and managed to score ten points, including one try.

With about five minutes on the clock until the referee’s final whistle, Georgia’s Merab Kvirikashvili was shown a yellow card, suspending him from play for the remainder of the match, leaving his side with only 14 men.

Last time the two sides faced each other Tonga beat Georgia 23-9. The game took place last November during the Ikale Tahi's tour of Europe.

Looking ahead Georgia will play its next match against Argentina on September 25, followed by the game against the current world champions New Zealand on October 2 and Namibia on October 7.