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The News in Brief

Friday, March 17
Two drug arrests of UNM-linked youth raise calls of politicized justice

Two young men related to government critics were arrested in Tbilisi on Tuesday on drug charges. Their mothers think it was politically motivated.

One of the detainees is the son of Khatia Dekanoidze, a justice specialist who introduced Georgian experience with police reforms to Ukraine as head of the national police force in that country.

Dekanoidze quit his post as Ukraine’s police chief in November last year and returned to Georgia, joining the National Movement which was headed by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. She has led active political activities and has often appeared in media commenting on hot political issues on behalf of UNM.

Her only son, Tornike Kopaleishvili (18), was detained in Tbilisi accused of being in possession of the party drug MDMI.

Dekanoidze said she thinks the arrest of her only son is related to her political activities.

The other controversial detention Tuesday targeted the son of Eliso Kiladze, editor of Kronika Plus, a UNM linked magazine strongly critical of the Georgian Dream government. Her son Davit Kharshiladze (28) was detained for possession of buprenorphin, a syntethic substitution drug which is illegal in Georgia.

Kiladze said she thinks the government is trying to silence her as a journalist.

The two young men were detained in Tbilisi on two different occasions on Tuesday.

Both pleaded not guilty in court the following day, yet both were placed in two months pre-trial detention. (

Parliamentary Delegation continues meetings in Baltic States

The Parliamentary Delegation to NATO PA, headed by the Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili, continues to hold meetings in the Baltic States.

Under the aegis of NATO Cooperation Sub-Committee of the NATO PA Political Committee, the meetings were held with the Minister of Defense of Latvia, Raimonds Bergmanis and the Prime Minister, Maris Kucinskis.

The parties noted that Latvia-Georgia bilateral relations in the military, political and economic spheres are being significantly developed, and Latvia supports NATO the aspirations of Georgia. The parties emphasized hybrid threats, foreign security challenges and defense system reforming. Within the visit, the Parliamentary Delegation, with the participation of Irakli Sesiashvili and Beka Odisharia, will visit the NATO Strategic Communications Center in Riga. (

Consultations of the President of Georgia on the Draft Law on Wiretapping Are Over

The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili, has held a meeting with the members of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia party, to discuss the draft law on wiretapping. The meeting was mainly focused on those aspects of the draft law, implementation of which may cause problems in the areas of human rights and business.

“We have shared our skepticism regarding this draft law. Consultations with the President with opposition factions are over and now we have a few days to determine whether to sign the bill or to return it together with our motivated remarks. As you know, according to the Constitution, we have a deadline until March 21, so we are able to spend a little more time on analysis and examination,” stated the Parliamentary Secretary of the President of Georgia, Mrs. Ana Dolidze. (

Hungarian, Ukrainian foreign ministers coming to Georgia

The Georgian capital of Tbilisi is getting ready to host two high-profile guests this week; Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

Szijjarto will arrive in Georgia on Thursday. While here, he will meet with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, several Cabinet Ministers and Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze.

During the visit, a grant program will be signed between the Hungarian Government and the Georgian Red Cross Organisation, providing financial aid for those affected by a major flash flood in the summer of 2015 in Tbilisi.

Meanwhile, Klimkin will arrive in Georgia on Friday, meeting with senior Georgian officials as well as the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II.

He will travel to the occupation line as well, dividing the breakaway Tskhinvali region from the rest of Georgia.

Both officials will leave Georgia on Saturday, March 18. (