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The News in Brief

Friday, July 10
The chance to prove the ethnic cleansing of Tskhinvali was lost in the Hague court – MP Eka Beselia

An opportunity was lost in the Hague Court to prove ethnic cleansing of the Tskhinvali region because of the National Movement’s incompetence, Parliament's Human Rights Committee Chairwoman Eka Beselia said at today's parliamentary session.

According to her, the former government has yet to make any explanation about this issue.

"Yesterday it was said that Georgia’s Ministry of Justice does nothing with regard to the Strasbourg decision. I would like to remind the one who made these statements that we won a case in the Strasbourg Court last year.

“Moreover, this was in contrast to the National Movement, which failed to follow procedures and missed the opportunity to prove the ethnic cleansing of the Tskhinvali region in the Hague Court. In this regard, we're still waiting for an explanation from the former government,"- Beselia said.

As for the Strasbourg decision, according to her, Georgia’s Ministry of Justice successfully fulfilled all necessary procedures. (IPN)

Russia must submit arguments against Georgia’s position on compensation by October 9

Russia has to submit its arguments against Georgia’s position on compensation before October 9 of 2015, by the Strasbourg Court’s decision.

According to the Ministry of Justice, on 8 July 2015 the European Court officially confirmed acceptance of a document requesting compensation, which was sent by the Georgian side.

"As the court letter clarifies, the document was sent to the Russian Federation on July 8, in accordance with procedural rules. The European Court has therefore set a deadline for Russia to present its counterarguments of October 9, 2015,” the Ministry of Justice says. (IPN)

Does Georgia import genetically modified food?

The Georgian market is free from genetically modified products imported from abroad, says a new report by the National Food Agency.

Georgia’s National Food Agency spent the past two years verifying product labels to check whether imported food products were genetically modified and if they were, the products were removed from the Georgian market.

"We examined about 50 samples of products that are deemed to be high risk of being genetically modified. Such products are soy, corn, potato starch, rice, sugar and many other products. Our research found those 50 samples were free from genetically modified elements,” Kakha Sokhadze, head of the Food Department at the National Food Agency, told

As for locally produced food products, Sokhadze explained the products made in Georgia were not genetically modified.

"According to a law that was launched last year it is forbidden to import genetically modified seeds. So it is impossible to produce genetically modified food products in Georgia,” he said.

The GMO [genetically modified organism] industry is not developed in Georgia. The National Food Agency has been implementing research on food products imported and sold in the Georgian market and make laboratory research at the same time.”

Sokhadze stressed the National Food Agency continued to run the testing program, even today, where Agency employees regularly brought in samples from the local market into the laboratory to test and control what food products were sold.

A new law came into force on July 1, 2015 that noted all products that contained genetically modified components must have proper labels informing consumers of this fact.

The new law regulated the type of information that must be written on the label. Specifically, if genetically modified components were 0.9 percent more than the product’s total mass, a label stating "GM” must be clearly identified on the top left corner of the product.

Those who break the law will be fined 5,000 GEL. If the wrongdoing repeats the fine will increase to 10,000 GEL. (

PM initiates creation of a civil servant training center

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has initiated the creation of a civil servant training center at today’s governmental meeting.

According to the Prime Minister, the center will become operational after the law on Public Service takes effect.

“Last week we endorsed the bill on Public Service and sent it to the parliament, which was really a very significant move forward, and now we’ve decided to set up a public servant training center.

I asked the Head of the International Education Center to devise a plan for setting up this center. Head of Governmental Administration Nino Kobakhidze is also actively involved in the process. I would like to thank everyone for their efforts," said the Prime Minister.

According to him, the systematic training of civil servants is necessary for improving their qualifications.

"We are going to share the experience of centers such as the German Federal Academy; Poland also has valuable experience. So, I think this center will be ready by the time the new law takes effect. It is necessary that our public servants be educated in a systematic manner. Of course, this will be reflected in their efficiency," said the Prime Minister. (IPN)

Georgian priest posthumously awarded for bravery in Italian ferry disaster

A Georgian priest who died while trying to save others in a ferry tragedy in the Adriatic Sea last year has been honoured posthumously by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The Georgian priest, the Head of the Monastery in Mtskheta, Ilia Kartozia, showed "extraordinary bravery” during the disaster, which claimed the lives of at least 11 people, including Kartozia himself.

Each year the IMO, a specialist agency of the United Nations, presents special awards to people who show extraordinary bravery. This year at the 114th IMO session, the organisation named the Georgian priest as the Hero of the Year, following a proposal from the Maritime Transport Agency of the Georgia’s Economy Ministry.

Priest Kartozia was awarded for the bravery he showed during the Adriatic Sea tragedy. This was the first time this or other similar awards have ever been presented to a Georgian citizen.

Meanwhile last month Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili awarded the late Archimandrite a posthumous award for his "exemplary civil devotion, heroism and extraordinary personal bravery".

The body of the Georgian priest, who drowned while helping other passengers on board the burning Italian ferry Norman Atlantic on December 29, 2014, was returned to Tbilisi on January 18, 2015.

Father Kartozia left for Italy to make a pilgrimage to the Church of Saint Nicolas in the Italian city of Bari with eight other Georgians. Of the nine Georgian’s on board, one was pregnant and one was a child.

The Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic caught alight and began to list in the early hours of December 29, 2014.

The ferry company operating the journey from the Greek city of Patras to Ancona in Italy said 478 people were on board the ship when it departed Greece.

It is not clear what caused the tragedy, which killed at least 11 people.

Father Ilia was the abbot of the Mtskheta monastery. (

Uflistsikhe museum-reserve director arrested for bribery

Officers of the Anti-corruption Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have arrested the director of Ufulistsikhe historical-architectural museum-reserve of the Cultural Heritage Agency.

Investigation revealed that the detainee, Irakli Miruashvili, accepted 13,000 GEL as bribe in exchange for promising to assist a citizen in leasing state-owned land.

Investigation is in progress into this case of accepting a large bribe, which is punishable by imprisonment from 7 to 11 years. (IPN)