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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 13
Georgia’s leaders congratulate Erdogan as Turkey's first elected President

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili are extending their warm congratulations to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was the first Turkish President directly elected by the country's people.

Erdogan earned a landslide victory in Turkey's first citizen-elected Presidential election on Sunday, extending his 12-year grip on power and securing a mandate to fulfill his pledge of creating a "new Turkey”.

"[This election] has reiterated the firm support of the Turkish people for the reforms implemented in the country under your leadership. Thanks to these reforms, Turkey has overcome more than one challenge and achieved economic success,” Gharibashvili said in a letter of congratulations.

In a written statement issued by the press office of the Prime Minister’s administration, Gharibashvili said Georgia gave special importance to further developing its close interstate relations with Turkey and people-to-people contacts.

"[We] deeply appreciate your lasting and immense contribution to the promotion of the neighbor and partner relations between Georgia and Turkey. I am convinced that our cooperation will remain successful in the future for the benefit of our countries and the region in general,” he said.

Meanwhile, Margvelashvili said in his congratulatory letter that the "close cooperation of the two countries are based on the principles of mutual support and friendship that would continue for the benefit of Georgia and Turkey”.

Erdogan has been Turkey’s Prime Minister since 2003. He was barred from standing another term so amended the constitution and was subsequently elected as the country’s first President. He will be inaugurated on August 28. (

Merabishvili loses appeal in May 26 case

The Appeals Court in Georgia upheld the City Court’s guilty verdict against former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili for the May 26, 2011, violent dispersal of anti-government protesters.

Tbilisi City Court in February sentenced Merabishvili to four years and six months in jail for abuse of powers.

He was first sentenced to six years in jail, but because of an amnesty introduced in December 2012, his sentence was reduced by one year and four months.

Lawyer Girogi Chiviashvili said on Monday that Merabishvili plans to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and then to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Merabishvili is currently in detention on a number of other charges. One of them is the violent dispersal of anti-government demonstrations on November 7, 2007. In this case he is charged along with ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. (DF watch)

REGNUM: “Is there pro-Georgian propaganda in Tskhinvali?”

International Scientific and Practical Conference “the new geopolitics of the world after the August War in 2008, geopolitical transformation and conflicts in the post-Soviet space” has been held in occupied South Ossetia, REGNUM reported on Tuesday.

The above-mentioned event organized by the so-called State Committee on Media and Information Society was dedicated to the sixth anniversary of the August War.

Russian political analyst Andrei Epifantsev delivered a speech at the conference. He talked about the unification of South Ossetia and development of humanitarian ties with Georgia. It should be noted Andrei Epifantsev met with State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality of Georgia Paata Zakareishvili before this conference.

“Russia is forced to intimidate Tbilisi by South Ossetia’s accession to the Russian Federation in order to hamper Georgia’s NATO membership. It is an immoral action, as it is clear that sooner or later Georgia will join NATO. On the other hand, development of humanitarian ties with Georgia is essential”, Andrei Epifantsev said.

It should be noted that so-called officials and ministers of occupied South Ossetia, who attended the conference, did not make comments on Andrei Epifantsev’s speech. (Frontnews)

New public movement launched

Restore and Establish Justice - a new public movement has been launched by the former owner of the Elit Electronics Company, Anzor Kokoladze. The mission of the movement is to monitor the investigations of the crimes committed during the previous government of Georgia, to protect the rights of the oppressed and affected businessmen of that period and provide recommendations for appropriate offices. (Rustavi 2)

Video of torture of Georgian soldier has been analyzed

The video footage of the torture of Georgian soldier Giorgi Antsukhelidze in the days of the August War 2008 has been analyzed and it was found that there was one unidentified person among the terrorists who was speaking in Georgian, the leader of the European Democrats, Paata Davitaia, and the founder of the Georgian Institute of European Values, Mamuka Zhghenti stated. They said anyone who can provide them with the information about the Georgian-speaking terrorist will be awarded with $30,000. (Rustavi2)

MP Volski downplays president's claims over publishing of classified documents

Member of the Parliamentary majority group, Gia Volski commented on the statement of the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili on Prosecutor's Office publicizing of secret correspondence. Volski downplayed the President's claims, saying "the letter does not contain any secret information" and that "if there was some technical issue, it does not represent anything that could harm the state’s interests".

On 8 August the Georgian President's Administration expressed its concern over the Prosecutor's Office having "published the secret correspondence between the Chief Prosecutor's Office and the President's Administration through violating the Law on State Secrets." The Prosecutor's Office of Georgia denied the President's Administration's allegations.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, the case referred to is related to the expenses of the Special State Protection Service during the previous government's term in office. The Prosecutor's Office said in a statement that the Security Council Chairman, then Head of the Procedural Committee at the Parliament, Irina Imerlishvili provided the information about the part of the expenses. The Prosecutor's Office said that the counter-intelligence service concluded that the documents about the expenses of the Special Service of the State Security were "wrongly classified". The Prosecutor's Office pointed out that the "responsible authorities declassified the criminal case and the major part of the materials contained in the case files." (