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The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 27
Vice Presidents of NBG Appointed

The Board of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) appointed Archil Mestvirishvili and Murtaz Kikoria as its Vice Presidents, the bank reported on December 23.

Archil Mestvirishvili has retained this position after being elected in the Board on December 1 for the second seven-year term. Murtaz Kikoria, who served as CEO of the Bank of Georgia till September 2016, was also elected as a member of the Board on the same day.

The appointment of the Vice Presidents came after Parliament approved amendments to the Law on the National Bank of Georgia on December 16, according to which the President of Georgia was deprived of the right to appoint the NBG’s Vice Presidents. According to the new rule, the Vice Presidents are appointed by the NBG Board upon nomination of the NBG President.

Norms envisaging imprisonment for marijuana use now null and void in Georgia

Georgia’s Constitutional Court has declared that imprisonment for use of small amounts of marijuana, as well as imprisonment for its purchase, retention and production for personal usage, is unconstitutional.

In accordance with this ruling, the Court announced that respective norms of Georgia’s Criminal Code and Code of Administrative Offenses were now null and void.

These norms were challenged at the Constitutional Court by Georgia’s Public Defender Usha Nanuashvili.

"Use of small amount of drugs, as well as purchase, retention and production of drugs for personal usage is punished by deprivation of liberty, which is irrelevant, too strict and degrading punishment," the Public Defender said.

The Court shared his opinion and satisfied his appeal.

In October 2015, Georgia’s Constitutional Court delivered a historic verdict, saying the norm of Georgia’s Constitution about imprisonment for personal use of marijuana was ‘too strict’ and needed to be relaxed.

Despite this, the norms envisaging imprisonment for this offence still remained in other legislative documents of Georgia, in particular in the Criminal Code and Administrative Offenses Code. Yesterday’s decision meant these norms were now removed from these legislative documents too.

Patriarch: We’ve had difficult years, but thanks to God, we survived

Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, Ilia II, has hosted the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Church.

Ilia II thanked his guest for visiting Georgia.

"We’ve had very difficult years. Thanks to God and the Virgin Mary, we survived. I cordially greet you and I want you to feel like you are at your home," said the Patriarch.

In turn, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Patriarch thanked Ilia ll and expressed his satisfaction over the opportunity to take part in the celebrations of the 39-year anniversary of the Georgian Patriarch’s enthronement.

He noted that the Ukrainians love the Georgian Patriarch very much as the defender of belief and everything sacred.

Special regimes imposed on several passages of Georgia’s road

Traffic restrictions have been imposed on several passages of Georgia’s roads because of heavy snow and ice.

According to the Roads Department of Georgia, the restrictions concern the Kutaisi-Tkibuli-Ambrolauri road (35-65 km), Zugdidi-Jvari-Mestia-Lasdili road (30-188 km) and Kutaisi-Tskaltubo-Tsageri-Lentekhi-Lasdili road (88-125 km).

The restrictions have also been imposed on the Batumi-Akhaltsikhe road (87-106 km).