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The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 2
Kibar Khalvashi demands the return of expropriated Georgian TV companies

Kibar Khalvashi, businessman and close friend of ex-Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili, intends to reclaim the Georgian TV companies – Rustavi 2 and Mze - that he was illegally deprived of.

In an official statement, Okruashvili’s Movement for United Georgia claims that Kibar Khalvashi, who was persecuted on political grounds, has appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office and Georgian Parliament, demanding the institution of criminal proceedings over the allegedly illegal seizure of Rustavi 2 and Mze TV and the bringing to account of those who did it.

Kibar Khalvashi has sent a letter to Georgian Parliament and the various factions within it in which he has demanded the establishment of a fact-finding commission concerning this matter. In his letter, Khalvashi has accused President Saakashvili and other senior figures of the misappropriation of Mze and Rustavi 2. Eka Beselia, the Movement for United Georgia Secretary-General, has told Black Sea Press that the letters gave details of what had happened in the aforesaid cases.

Rustavi 2 and Mze TV were expropriated in November 2006. The very same day Irakli Okruashvili, the former Defence Minister, resigned from the post of Minister of Economic Development of Georgia. Khalvashi owned 100 percent of Rustavi TV and 78 percent of Mze, which he had bought from the Gruzcement Company. This belongs to Davit Bezhuashvili, brother of ex-Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili.

Khalvashi is now in Germany and seeking political asylum there. According to Eka Beselia, his claim is being considered. He is a wanted man in Georgia, and according to the Prosecutor’s Office he possesses valuable information about Okruashvili’s activities and was an important participant in a number of the episodes which led to charges being brought against the former Defence Minister, in particular, those concerning the construction of various military facilities.

According to an investigation, in January 2005 whilst Minister of Defence Irakli Okruashvili asked his close friend Kibar Khalvashi to establish a construction enterprise and conclude an exclusive contract on the performance of construction works for the Defence Ministry. On January 27, 2005, Kibar Khalvashi registered the International Building Company Ltd. and gained three contracts worth GEL 140 million.
(Black Sea Press)

MFA to select interns

An intake of interns has been announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on its official webpage. Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Maghradze told journalists on Monday that applications for internships will be received from December 1. The deadline for submitting applications is December 15.

According to Maghradze, the internship programme is part of the reforms carried out in the Ministry. Detailed information about the competition is available on the Foreign Ministry official webpage.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian PM to visit Brussels

Prime Minister of Georgia, Grigol Mgaloblishvili will be visiting Brussels on December 1-2, Black Sea Press was told at the Chancellery on Monday.

The Georgian PM is expected to meet with Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament; Jacques Barrot, European Commission Vice-President Responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, and Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The Georgian Premier will also meet with Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Energy Issues.
(Black Sea Press)

Continuous electricity supply the greatest achievement of the Georgian Government since the Rose Revolution – poll

Providing a constant electricity supply is the greatest achievement of the Georgian Government since the Rose Revolution, a public opinion poll conducted by Kviris Palitra suggests.

The electricity supply was listed as the greatest achievement of this Government by 21.1% of the 402 respondents. Improvements in the patrol police was listed as the greatest achievement by 19.2% and the rehabilitation of roads by 18.6%, the fight against corruption by 5.6%, the timely release of pensions by 4%, the fight against crime by 4%, the revolution in Adjara by 3.7%, social welfare schemes (parks, fountains etc) by 3,1%, reforms in the Georgian Army by 2.5% and educational reform by 2.2%. 3.3% of respondents named other achievements, while 6.8% did not choose any. 5.9% of respondents gave no answer.
(Black Sea Press)