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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 24
Saakashvili: ‘Ivanishvili will be Defeated This Year’

Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now governor of the Odessa region in Ukraine and who chaired the UNM party before losing Georgian citizenship late last year, said that “uneducated oligarch” Bidzina Ivanishvili will be defeated this year.

He made his remarks on Rustavi 2 TV when commenting on violence outside one of the polling stations in the Zugdidi municipality in the Samegrelo region during local by-election in which some of the leaders and activists of the UNM party were beaten by supporters of the ruling GDDG party, founded by ex-PM Ivanishvili.

“Ivanishvili will definitely be defeated and he will be defeated this year; he will be defeated by a large margin,” he said, apparently referring to parliamentary elections scheduled for October 8.

“Future can’t be stropped by evil forces of the past. They tried it today in Samegrelo; that was an insult to Georgia, including an insult to Samegrelo; they [GDDG] brought in people [who assaulted UNM members] there to try to solve political issues with violence,” he said.

He also said that Ivanishvili, whom he described as “uneducated oligarch from Chorvila” – Ivanishvili’s native village - will share the fate of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych “and possibly even worse if he does not come to his senses”.

“There will be no compromise with this dark force,” he added.

Georgia to seek international criminal prosecution for suspect in Khurcha incident

In a statement released on Saturday, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia laid out its version of the tragic event of May 19, and announced it would appeal to the court demanding detention in absentia of Rashid Kanciogli, identified as a person who allegedly fired a fatal shot at Giga Otkhozoria, Georgian IDP hailing from Gali district, who lived in Zugdidi.

“In the case the motion is satisfied, Rashid Kanciogli will be requested both on national and international levels,” the statement reads.

A video of the murder taken by a surveillance camera was shown by the media and shared online, sparking a wave of outrage across Georgia.

Although Abkhazia’s de facto Military Prosecutor’s Office has opened a criminal investigation into the incident, Georgian authorities are doubtful that the perpetrator will ever be brought to justice.

“We will not give up until the killer is punished. We will use all international and local mechanisms to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished,” Deputy Interior Minister Archil Talakvadze said in an interview with Imedi TV.

A shooting against two minibuses on election day in 2008 has also been called the Khurcha incident.

IDFI - Event in Honor of Georgian Officers Executed by Russian Bolsheviks

On May 20, IDFI in cooperation with Tbilisi City Hall, Ministry of Defense and Archive of Ministry of Internal Affairs organized an event in honor of Georgian officers executed by Russian Bolsheviks in 1923.

The event was opened with the Georgian anthem performed by the Defence Ministry's military orchestra. This was followed by a welcoming speech by IDFI Director Giorgi Kldiashvili, who spoke about the contribution of the repressive officers to their homeland and their importance of both the past and the future of Georgia.

Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi Irakli Lekvinadze also spoke about the heroism of executed officers and stated that “such examples give all the more value to our country’s 25 years of independence”. The Deputy Mayor emphasized IDFI’s role in studying the history of the repressed officers and organizing an events in their honour. Tbilisi City Hall plans to place a memorial in Vake Park, at the location where Georgian officers were executed 93 years ago.

Also among the speakers was the Deputy Head of the Archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Vladimer Luarsabishvili, who thanked IDFI for its work and for remembering the heroes.

The IDFI used the data held by the Archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to locate the addresses of the executed officers and requested Tbilisi City Hall to put up memorial plaques in these locations.