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The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 7
Security stepped up around Kutaisi City Courthouse

Relatives of Mirza Gochuadze, killed by a police officer’s gunshot, have gathered in front of the Kutaisi City Courthouse, where the trial of the suspected officer was under way.

According to the defendant’s lawyer, they will demand that the defendant be released on bail, while the prosecution has already demanded continued custody.

Police officer Lasha Jikhvashvili, arrested for the murder of 22-year-old Mirza Gochuadze, does not plead guilty to premeditated murder.

"The police officer has not entered a guilty plea. The defense will file a motion for bail", said lawyer Teimuraz Butskhrikidze.

Jikhvashvili is charged with article 108 (premeditated murder) and article 333 (abuse of power by the use of a firearm).

Police officer Lasha Jikhvashvili shot 22-year-old Mirza Gochuadze during an operation in Kutaisi on October 3. Lasha Jikhvashvili was later arrested for the incident. His authority has been suspended until the end of the investigation.

Refugee families living in squalor given new homes

Dozens of refugee families living in critical conditions in an abandoned sanatorium in Georgia’s Shida Kartli region and other vulnerable refugee families will soon start a new life in new apartment buildings, gifted by the state.

Georgia’s Deputy Ministers of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees Shota Rekhviashvili and Mamuka Tsotniashvili have met with refugee families living in an old sanatorium settlement in Surami, near Khashuri Township.

“We have visited internally displaced persons in Surami who live in terrible conditions. We promised them their problems would be solved very soon,” Rekhviashvili said.

In recent years 52 families had lived in this settlement in "terrible conditions”, Deputy Minister Rekhviashvili said. However this would soon change and the old facility would soon be demolished, stated the Levan Samkharauli National Forensic Bureau.

But these vulnerable families would not be thrown out on the street. Instead they would receive accommodation in newly rehabilitated buildings in Khashuri. Rekhviashvili said the Ministry had already started reconstruction of two buildings to house the new tenants, one being a former hospital building.

Overall, 110 families will be offered new accommodation in the two seven-storey buildings. It is believed it will take ten months to complete the reconstruction work before the refugee families can move into their new homes.

As well as these two apartment blocks, Deputy Minister Rekhviashvili noted other large-scale renovation projects were also planned.

"In the near future another construction is planned in Khashuri on Saakadze St, which will be the same scale as this one,” he said.

"After the second residential building is constructed, the problems of refugees in Khashuri will be completely solved. Local refugee families are very actively involved in the construction process and will be employed on the construction of their own homes,” he said.

Georgia, Moldova to sign agreement on readmission of persons residing without permission

Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Alexander Chikaidze is on his first official visit to Moldova, the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs told Trend.

The visit will last until October 7.

Alexander Chikaidze will hold a meeting with his Moldovan counterpart - Minister of Internal Affairs Dorin Rechan within the framework of the visit. Chikaidze will also meet with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Moldova.

During the visit, the sides will discuss issues of bilateral cooperation and European integration.

During the visit, the minister will sign a joint declaration with Moldova on cooperation in the field of European integration and the "Agreement between Georgia and the Republic of Moldova on the readmission of persons residing without authorization."

The declaration and the agreement will be signed by the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova.

The delegation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia will include the Head of the Department for External Relations, Department of the Central Criminal Police, Department of the patrol police and the Central National Interpol Bureau in Georgia.

Defense Minister meets his Lithuanian counterpart

Minister of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania Juozas Olekas is paying a two day official visit to Georgia. Georgia’s Minister of Defense of hosts his Lithuanian counterpart.

According to the Defense Ministry, an official welcoming ceremony was held in the Ministry of Defence. The Mod military brass band performed Lithuanian and Georgian state anthems.

After the welcoming ceremony, the ministers will hold a meeting. First Deputy Chief of the GS of the GAF, Brigadier General Vladimir Chachibaia, Deputy Defense Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili, Lithuanian delegation members and other officials will attend the meeting. Later on, Ministers Irakli Alasania and Juozas Olekas will make official statements.

Meetings are also planned with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze. On October 7 the Defense Minister of Lithuania will visit President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Chairman of Parliament Davit Usupashvili. The Lithuanian Defense Ministry representatives will lay a wreath on the Heroes’ Memorial at Heroes Square. Under an official visit in Georgia, Minister Juozas Olekas will also arrive at Gori Military Hospital and Davit Agmashenebeli National Defense Academy.