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The News in Brief

Friday, February 3
Ukrainian website claims it obtained correspondence where Mikheil Saakashvili blackmails judges

Ukrainian information-analytical edition reports that it has obtained copies of correspondence between former governor of Odessa Mikheil Saakashvili and former Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Davit Sakvarelidze.

The website claims that it published the transcripts of the correspondence in two languages - Russian and Georgian.

It also published the alleged Viber correspondence between Saakashvili and Sakvarelidze wherein the two men discuss Vice Colonel Gia Tsertsvadzes case. Saakashvili asks questions the progress of the case, specifically the release of Tsertsvadze.

"I've spoken to some people. We have to become active in order to prevent that all this is attributed to Givi. I think they will not dare to release him. You need to show up often so that to make an impression that it is our case. By the way, Gvaramia raised this issue well and he will further help us," says Saakashvili, according to the .

After that, Sakvarelidze mentions two names to which parcels were sent to Tbilisi. They are most likely Supreme Court judges Paata Katamadze and Besarion Alavidze, who are considering the Rustavi 2 case. In addition, according to , Sakvarelidze mentions another person, thought to be the Chairman of the Lawyers Association, Zaza Khatiashvili.

It should be noted that the website offers only a transcript and is not accompanied by any video or other materials.

The same site has dedicated several other articles to Mikheil Saakashvili. (IPN)

UNM Loses 35 Sakrebulo Members After Split, the Party Says

The United National Movement lost 35 out of a total of 276 members of local councils, Sakrebulos, following the party split, according to the UNMs statement on February 1.

35 members of 14 Sakrebulos (including nine municipal districts and five cities) left the party, UNM stated.

Among them, three in the Tbilisi City Council (out of seven), nine in Khoni (out of 12), four in Gurjaani (out of six), four in Zugdidi (out of 18), four in Khulo (out of five), two in Akhaltsikhe (out of 11), two in Adigeni (out of six), two in Poti (out of two), two in Kutaisi (out of four), one in Akhalkalaki (out of one), one in Mtskheta (out of two), one in Chiatura (out of 5).

The UNM added that it still commands 241 Sakrebulo members.

The statement echoes the dispute over the assessments of the scale of the recent split; while European Georgia members claim that the party was divided, those remaining argue that it was a small group who quit the party. (

Meeting of Chairman with President of European Parliament

The Chairman of Parliament of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze is holding important meetings this week. Today, the Chairman met with the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Antonio Tajani.

The parties discussed bilateral relations and future cooperation, and the newly elected EP President congratulated Mr. Kobakhidze on his victory in the recent elections and spoke about the importance of democratic reforms. He also underlined the importance of EU support in economic reforms and various directions.

We, naturally, expressed our gratitude for cooperation between our institutions and expressed our will for future enhancement of relations. We plan to hold bilateral and close cooperation with EP through respective mechanisms and EP is committed to consider bilateral cooperation through set up of such foundation. So, we will work in this direction, the Chair of the EU Integration Committee, Ms. Tamar Khulordava, stated.

The meeting was attended by Georgian Delegation members Tamar Khulordava, Sofio Katsarava, Nikoloz Samkharadze and the head of the Georgia Mission to the EU, Natalia Sabanadze. (

UK concerned by imminent closure of crossing points along de-facto border with occupied Abkhazia

The United Kingdom (UK) condemns the imminent closure of several crossing points along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) between occupied Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia.

The UKs representation to the South Caucasus issued a statement on Facebook regarding this issue.

The statement expressed the UKs strong support for the positions of the United Nations and European Union on the matter, claiming that the local population will be negatively impacted by these changes, creating greater vulnerability and isolation of those living in the adjacent areas.

"Reducing the number of crossings will inevitably have a negative impact on the lives of the local population and is not conducive to longer-term conflict resolution, the statement read.

Abkhazian officials announced their decision to keep only one entry point open through Enguri Bridge at the ABL earlier this month, which resulted in hundreds of residents of Gali in Abkhazia protesting against the decision.

A crowd of peaceful protesters last week blocked the central road of Nabakevi village where another crossing point had operated previously. The protesters said that it will be difficult to use only one point of entry and exit because it will be time consuming. (