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The News in Brief

Monday, December 12
Georgia’s Foreign Ministry releases statement on explosions in Turkey

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has issued a statement with regards to the explosions that took place in Turkey.

"A hotline -at (+90 541) 818 44 00 is operating on a 24 hour schedule in the Consulate General with regard to the blasts that took place in Istanbul's historic center. Another 24-hour hotline at (+995 32) 294 50 50 is also operating in the Consulate Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The Consulate General has constant contact with the initial emergency response teams of Turkey. The Turkish side says no Georgians are among the casualties," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says in the statement.

Georgian man sentenced to ten years in jail for murdering US tourist

The district court in Telavi, in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region, on Thursday sentenced a man to 10 years in jail for murdering a US citizen last August.

The court determined that on August 12, Mikheil Chincharashvili murdered US tourist Fritz Wolfgang Musser, a backpacker who was heading toward Tusheti that evening, the Prosecutor Office’s Office wrote in a statement.

“Mikheil Chincharashvili and Fritz Wolfgang Musser had an argument, after which Mikheil Chincharashvili, intending to kill Fritz Wolfgang Musser, stabbed him with a knife 16 times in various parts of the body, and also inflicted several wounds in the chest and fled the scene. Due to the lacerations, Fritz Wolfgang Musser died at the scene,” the statement reads.

The accused was arrested on August 13 for premeditated murder. He pleaded guilty.
(DF watch)

Legislation needs to be reviewed in relation to drug policies – Parliament Speaker

Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chairman of Parliament, thinks that the legislation needs to be reviewed in relation to the countrt's drug policies.

According to Kobakhidze, a discussion of this issue will be held in the Parliament.

"I had a meeting with all interested parties, including non-governmental organizations, before the elections. A discussion of this issue will necessarily be launched in Parliament. We need to review the legislation in some directions," said Irakli Kobakhidze.

Two people were detained during a protest event of the White Noise organisation on December 10. They were demanding liberalization and decriminalization of drug policy.

What are the current road conditions in Georgia?

Heavy snow and ice means that several main roads in Georgia are closed. Georgia's Road Department released latest information on the current road conditions describing which roads are open and which remain closed.

The agency said that thanks to intensive cleaning efforts, the 138-193km (Chumateleti-Zestafoni) section of the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze road was now open to all vehicles after being earlier closed to large trucks and semi-trailers.

Due to heavy snow and ice, the 1-22km section of the Alpana-Tsageri road in western Georgia’s Svaneti region was currently closed to truck and trailers, semi-trailers and vehicles that can carry more than 30 passengers. Other vehicles can move on this road only if they are fitted with anti-skid chains. There are no restrictions on this road for 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Mleta-Kobi section of the Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Larsi road, linking Georgia and Russia, was open to all vehicles however all cars except off-road vehicles must be fitted with anti-skid chains.

Due to heavy snow and ice, the 71-188km (Khaishi-Ushguli in Svaneti) section of the western Zugdidi-Jvari-Mestia road was currently closed to truck and trailers, semi-trailers and large passenger vehicles. Other vehicles can travel on this road with anti-skid chains while there are no restrictions for 4-wheel drive vehicles. The 1-70km section of the same road was open to all vehicles.

Similarly, due to heavy snow and ice the 36-60km (Nakerala Pass) section of western Kutaisi-Tkibuli-Ambrolauri road was closed to large trucks, semi-trailers and large passenger vehicles. Other cars must have 4-wheel drive or be fitted with chains. The 1-70km section of the same road is open.

Heavy snow and ice meant the 87-106km section of the south-western Batumi-Akhatsikhe road was closed to all vehicles except for those with 4-wheel drive or with chains.