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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 5
Georgian citizens abroad receive modern, biometric passports

Georgians living abroad with outdated and old identification (ID) documents are eligible to receive new passports equipped with modern biometric information.

Georgian citizens living out of the country can visit Georgia’s diplomatic missions and consular offices anytime from August 10 to renew their old ID document and be issued with a new biometric passport.

The move comes as part of Georgia’s Visa Liberalization process with the European Union (EU), where according to the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP) Georgia must change old, outdated passports with new biometric papers.

In Georgia the process to renew citizen passports has already begun and new passports have already been issued.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice released a joint statement to discuss the move to update Georgian passports.

"Georgia’s diplomatic missions and Consular offices will renew work to receive applications and resumes for biometric passports on August 10. According to the law, passports that are issued without biometric data will only be possible in cases where a person’s health of physical condition means it is impossible to obtain biometric data,” the joint statement read.

Detailed information on how a person can apply for a new biometric passport will soon be posted on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Georgia’s Diplomatic Missions and State Services Development Agencies of the Ministry of Justice.

Lawyers appeal against City Court’s decision

Lawyers have appealed against a City Court’s decision about the case of Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili; former Chief Prosecutor Zurab Adeishvili and former Defence Minister Davit Kezerashvili.

“Davit Kezerashvili does not refuse to cooperate with the investigation; however, he is being politically persecuted, which was confirmed by the verdict delivered by the French Court. Our complaint is substantiated and I think it should be shared by the Court of Appeals”, lawyer Beka Basilaia said.

According to Saakashvili’s lawyer Otar Kakhidze, the City Court’s decision is politically motivated.

Mikheil Saakashvili, Zurab Adeishvili and Davit Kezerashvili were sentenced to imprisonment on August 1.

We remind you that the Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia filed criminal charges against former President, Mikheil Saakashvili on 28 July. According to the Prosecutor's Office the charges are related to the “dispersal of the rally in Tbilisi on 7 November, 2007; a raid on a Tbilisi television station – Imedi TV and illegal seizure of assets of the family of Badri Patarkatsishvili”.

Angela Merkel to visit Georgia

A visit of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is planned to Georgia; - the special and plenipotentiary ambassador of Georgia to Germany Lado Tchanturia stated it.

‘’The Georgian Prime Minister had a very successful visit to Germany. The visit of the German Chancellor to Georgia is also being planned. From my point of view it is very significant for Georgia’s political life. Representatives of our government, primarily the Foreign Minister are also planning to visit Germany,’’ – Lado Tchanturia said.

Davit Saganelidze - Mikheil Saakashvili will be declared wanted by Interpol

Davit Saganelidze, leader of the parliamentary majority, says former President Mikheil Saakashvili will be declared wanted by Interpol. ‘’This person is not going to return to his country, because he knows he has committed several dirty things apart from the 7 November incident. There exist international agreements. He will be declared wanted and I hope he will be brought to Georgia’, Saganelidze said on Imedi TV.

To the question whether Saakashvili will be declared wanted or not by Interpol, Saganelidze said ‘it is obvious’.

‘Saakashvili will try to get political asylum and to convince others that there is political retribution against him, but I hope that except for his personal friends, the number of which is quite high in political circles, there are also reasonable politicians, state institutions and legal relationships between countries’, Saganelidze said.

Polish MFA 'Concerned over Possible Selective Justice in Georgia'

Foreign Ministry of Poland said in a statement on August 1 that it is concerned over steps taken by Georgia's investigative bodies against ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, which “could have the nature of a selective application of justice.”

“Instituting criminal proceedings against a former president is the prerogative of an independent judiciary. Each citizen should be accountable for his or her actions regardless of his or her post. In this specific case the unhealthy atmosphere of reckoning with political rivals, which has prevailed for some time now, gives rise to the concern that the desire for political revenge will affect the due course and impartiality of investigative measures, which could have the nature of selective justice,” reads the statement.

“This would be unwelcome, especially given the complex political situation in Georgia today, and would not help in fulfilling the country's ambitions. The mounting tension in domestic politics could make it more difficult for Georgia to move closer to European and Euro-Atlantic structures.”

The Polish Foreign Ministry also said that it would be paying close attention to further developments, “hoping that the Georgian side will show circumspection and comply with the principles of the rule of law.”