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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 26
Georgia and Dominican Republic establish diplomatic relations

Georgia and the Dominican Republic have signed the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says. According to the communique, friendship and cooperation between Georgia and the Dominican Republic will develop in compliance with the fundamental norms of international law, i.e. respect for territorial sovereignty and principles of non-interference in each other's domestic affairs and peaceful co-existence.

The ceremony of signing the Joint Communique on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations was conducted on 22 January 2010 in New York at the Permanent Representation of Georgia to the United Nations Organisation and entered into force immediately

From the Dominican Republic's side the document was signed by Permanent Representative to the UN Organisation Federico Alberto Cuello Camillo, and from the Georgian side by Permanent Representative of Georgia to the UN Alexander Lomaia.

The sides sent a joint letter on the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

13 Georgian sailors detained in the Philippines released

The Georgian sailors detained in the Philippines have been released, Levan Akhvlediani, co-founder of the Georgia-Philippines Business and Friendship Association, has told Interpressnews. Akhvlediani said that the Justice Department of the Philippines has taken into account the decision of the Philippines court, which found the sailors not guilty of arms smuggling, and has released them.

Akhvlediani added that the Georgian public should be informed of the special role the Philippine partners of the Georgia-Philippines Business and Friendship Association have played in the release of the Georgian sailors. He said that he hoped that their return to Georgia will be arranged by the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

The sailors were detained on 17 August. Their ship was said to be carrying contraband arms.

MP Konstantine Gamsakhurdia visits Moscow

Konstantine Gamsakhurdia is in Moscow. The son of Georgia's first President, who chairs the Parliamentary Commission investigating the causes of his death, managed to arrive in Russia after arranging a visa with the help of the Swiss Embassy in Georgia.

The eldest son of Zviad Gamsakhurdia aims to hold several meetings in the Russian capital. He intends to question members of the Gamsakhurdia Government Shota Kviraia, Tengiz Kitovani and Igor Giorgadze.
(Rustavi 2)

Kusturica refuses to shoot a film on Georgia-Russia war

Famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica has refused to shoot a movie about the Georgia-Russia war of August 2008. Kusturica explained to Russian TV Channel Rasiya that representatives of the South Ossetian separatist regime had asked him to make a documentary about the war but he refused in order to work on another project.

Kusturica announced his refusal at a meeting with the Russian President in the Kremlin. Other details of their conversation have not been reported.

Emir Kusturica had already visited South Ossetia on the invitation of the separatist regime.
(Rustavi 2)

Ombudsman visits Tsotne Gamsakhurdia in prison

Georgian Ombudsman Giorgi Tughushi has visited Tsotne Gamsakhurdia in prison.

Gamsakhurida is on hunger strike, demanding a proper investigation of his case and open court hearings, Interpressnews has been told by a spokesman of the Ombudsman’s Office.

"Tsotne Gamsakhurdia's condition is stable. He makes no claims against the administration of the prison," the spokesman said.

According to the spokesman, representatives of the Ombudsman have visited Gamsakhurdia regularly since his detention on 27 October 2009. The Ombudsman continues to study Gamsakhurdia’s case within the framework of his mandate, the spokesman added.

Employees of the Ministry of Environmental Protection are arrested for bribery

Following a search employees of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources have been arrested by officers of the Constitutional Security Department for taking bribes. It is alleged that Giorgi Vanishvili, Davit Khmiadashvili, Mameluk Khaduri, Giorgi Jioshvili, Valerian Vanishvili, Avtandil Petriashvili, Davit Kelberashvili and Tristan Karchava entered into corrupt deals with entrepreneurs, systematically taking bribes in exchange for illegally appropriating timber and construction materials.

Entrepreneurs Jemal Chikhladze and Gocha Moistsrapishvili have also been arrested. They face imprisonment of up to 9 years.
(Rustavi 2)