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The News in Brief

Monday, June 8
Mikheil Saakashvili – UN Mission in Georgia is not worth losing Abkhazia over

The UN mission in Georgia is not worth losing Abkhazia over. President Saakashvili made this announcement yesterday at a meeting with the population of Martvili.

Saakashvili said that he had seen that 10 minutes after the situation in the region became serious, the UN mission staff “evaporated”. He added that he will never sign a document which sanctions splitting up Georgia.

Saakashvili believes that if the Georgian people retain their desire to be together the lost territories will return. “Continuing a peaceful but active diplomatic fight in the international arena is necessary,” Saakashvili said.

Woman dies in building collapse in Tbilisi

The dismantling of the block which collapsed on Saturday night in Abashidze Street in Tbilisi has finished. Employees of the emergency office have completely demolished the left-hand side of the three-storey building, following expert recommendation. Temur Giorgadze, the head of the emergency office, says that the reason the building collapsed will become known in several days.

One woman died in the collapse of the building. Rescuers found the corpse of Makvala Bitsadze, 68, among the ruins. The woman was at home alone during the incident.

Preliminary analysis suggests that the block of flats was actually quite sound and it collapsed as a result of the Mshenservice 2009 Company digging out a foundation pit for a building it is constructing in the vicinity. Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava has said an action will be brought in court concerning this.

The residents of the collapsed building have already been given lodgings. The Mshenservice Company will cover the damage inflicted upon them.
(Rustavi 2)

Conservative Party protests against dismissal of Tbilisi Metro staff

Bidzina Gujabidze and Lasha Chkhartishvili, representatives of the Conservative Party, stated at a briefing at a protest rally held by the Central Building of Tbilisi Metro yesterday that it was protesting against the mass dismissal of Metro staff. Many of the dismissed staff attended the rally.

Gujabidze stated that the Metro management had forced the staff to sign declarations that they would voluntarily refuse to accept salary supplements issued to them for working in harmful conditions. These equalled 25-30 % of their pay. All employees who refused to sign these declarations were dismissed.

“We call on the administration of Tbilisi Metro to stop persecuting its own staff. Such attitudes exist in many organizations. Metro staff have to work in difficult conditions and if they express any objection they are fired and replaced by members of the National Movement,” Gujabidze said.

Metro employees plan to go on strike and have asked the Conservative Party to support this action. However Gujabidze has declared that politicians should dissuade people from such action as strikes would create a problem for many travellers.

MIA announces detention of Democratic Movement–United Georgia member

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has announced that it has detained an employee of the central party organisation of Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement –United Georgia, Gocha Tsiklauri. The Ministry’s website states that Tsiklauri, a former employee of the MIA’s Armaments Service, was detained for illegally purchasing a weapon in Dighomi on 6 June, 2009. An investigation is in process.

Temur Murghulia, a member of the central council of the party, has stated that “The detainment of Tsiklauri is a case of the MIA interpreting the statement made by the President in Martvili two days ago.”

President of Georgian Golf Federation sends application to European Court

The Georgian Golf Federation President Merab Ratishvili has sent a claim against Georgia to the European Court of Human Rights. The Article 42 Georgian NGO will represent him in this matter.

The NGO claims Ratishvili, who is imprisoned, has been subject to violations of four articles of the European Convention. Lawyer Manana Kobakhidze says that Ratishvili has been subjected inhuman treatment and forcefully injected with drugs. She adds that the preliminary investigation was not held impartially.

The President of the Golf Federation was detained on suspicion of bringing a large quantity of drugs into Georgia from abroad. He was sentenced to nine years imprisonment.
(Rustavi 2)