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The News in Brief

Friday, July 18
Eastern European envoys attend AA ratification in Georgia

Two Eastern European officials are being hosted in Georgia to attend Georgia’s ratification of the Association Agreement (AA), which was signed together with the European Union (EU) last month.

Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs arrived in Georgia on Wedensday ahead of the ratification of the AA by Parliament of Georgia, which will be held on July 18.

Latvian Minister Edgars Rinkevics will deliver a speech at the event.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Kristian Vigenin, is also expected to attend the occasion.

Tomorrow, both Foreign Ministers will meet Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze, State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili and Chairman of Georgia’s Parliament Davit Usupashvili.

The official scheduled showed the parties would discuss the process of implementing the AA, mutual relations between Georgia and Latvia and Bulgaria respectively, as well as Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration and the current situation in the region. (

Georgian contingent completes mission in Afghanistan's Helmand province

Georgian military contingent leaves "Leatherneck" base in the Helmand province in Afghanistan. The base which is under American command is to stop functioning.

Military bases in Afghanistan are being closed gradually and the contingent is being reduced regarding completion of the International Security Assistance Force mission. Until the end of 2014, the responsibility for security in the country goes to the Afghan national forces.

The completion of the mission of the 23rd battalion of the Georgian Defense Ministry at the "Leatherneck" base was marked with solemn ceremony, the Georgian Defense Ministry told Trend.

The servicemen of the battalion lowered the Georgian flag and Battalion Sergeant Levan Jangirashvili personally handed over the flag to the Deputy Chief of General Staff Colonel Roman Jokhadze.

The 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade was serving at the "Leatherneck" base for four months. This is the last Georgian unit which performed combat missions under the Georgian flag in the ISAF international mission in Helmand province. The battalion completed the mission without loss. (

Erosi Kitsmarishvili’s brother releases scandalous statement

Erosi Kitsmarishvili’s brother Zurab Kitsmarishvili has released a scandalous statement.

“I saw the gun. There were no blood stains on the gun, while the whole car was bloody. It was a strange detail for me,” Zurab Kitsmarishvili told Rustavi 2 on Wednesday.

According to Zurab Kitsmarishvili, “Erosi Kitsmarishvili was seating in the driver’s seat, he was wearing a seat belt and lights were on”.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili, the founder of the Rustavi 2 channel, was found shot to death on Tuesday in his car at the Tbilisi apartment block where he lived. Investigators said a gun found next to Kitsmarishvili's body belonged to him. His family and friends insist that he was not suicidal. (frontnews)

EHCR`s rule on Georgia’s ‘anti-thief-in-law’ legislation

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on July 15, that Georgia’s ‘anti-thief-in-law’ legislation, adopted in 2005 to efficiently crackdown on powerful organized crime groups and their bosses, did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights.

The unanimous ruling by a chamber of seven judges of the Strasbourg-based court stems from a complaint lodged by a Georgian citizen from the Adjara region, who was convicted to seven years in prison in 2007 under the legislation in question for being a member of the “thieves’ underworld”, receiving instructions from a criminal boss, or “thief-in-law”.

In his complaint, lodged in 2008, the applicant argued that the principle of “no punishment without law” of the Convention was violated against him as the legislation under which he was convicted had not been precise and foreseeable enough for him to understand what kind of conduct could be considered as membership of the criminal underworld, and thus for him to be punishable.

ECHR said that the rationale behind Georgia’s decision to create such legislation almost nine years ago was to allow the law enforcement authorities “to more effectively combat these dangerous criminal syndicates which affected not only the criminal underworld, but also contaminated many aspects of ordinary public life.”

“Indeed, studies and submissions supplied by the Government on the impact of the ‘thieves’ underworld’ showed that this criminal phenomenon was deeply rooted in society, and that concepts such as ‘thieves underworld’ and ‘thief-in-law’ were common knowledge, and widely understood by the public,” ECHR said, adding that meanings of concepts criminalized by the legislation – “thieves’ underworld” and “thief-in-law” – was already well known to the general public.

ECHR also noted that the provision of the law in question was part of a wider legislation, containing a “detailed explanation” of terms such as “thieves’ underworld” and “thief-in-law”.

“Accordingly, the Court concluded that, even if [applicant] Mr Ashlarba had not understood such criminal concepts through common, public knowledge, he could have easily foreseen that his actions could result in his criminal responsibility through the wider legislation in place at that time and, if necessary, with the help of legal advice. As such, the Court concluded that there had been no violation of Article 7 of the Convention,” ECHR said. (Rustavi2)