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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 10
Georgian Ombudsman objects to prohibition on Maestro cable TV company

Sozar Subari, the Public Defender of Georgia, is concerned that cable TV company Maestro is prohibited from screening public-political programmes.

“I express my extreme concern at the Government’s attitude towards freedom of speech and the expression of opinion in Georgia. The prohibition of public-political programmes on Maestro TV for a quite absurd reason by the Frequency Regulatory Commission, and the delay to the legal proceedings concerning this, once again prove that freedom of speech and opinion are not allowed in this country,” the Ombudsman says in a statement released on September 9.

According to Subari, on September 10 at 14.00 a court hearing is appointed, which will clarify whether the Government still maintains an elementary respect towards the principal values of democracy. “Georgia’s further well-being lies in its democratic development; the support of the international community also depends upon it”, his statement reads.

The Georgian Ombudsman calls on the Government of Georgia to return to “Maestro” what it legally owns and what is a human’s supreme right. “I call on Georgian society to be uncompromising in protecting democratic values and to support Maestro in it fight for freedom of speech. This is a matter of dignity and the future of our country requires it.” (Prime-News)

Deputy Head of Gardabani Administration is detained for bribery

Officials of the Department of Constitutional Security of the Interior Ministry of Georgia have detained the Deputy Head of the Administration of Gardabani municipality, Akip Ismailov, on suspicion of bribery, the Press Service of the Ministry informs.

According to police information, Ismailov took a bribe of $132,000 for assisting in the privatization of a brownfield site in Gardabani, in Eastern Georgia. The Ministry has disseminated a secret record of the bribe being made.

If found guilty, Ismailov may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. (Black Sea Press)

Russian Foreign Minister: Abkhazia and Ossetia to participate in Geneva discussions

According to Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Abkhazia and Ossetia will take part in discussions about the six-point Georgia-Russia ceasefire agreement to be held in Geneva on October 15. RIA Novosti reports that Lavrov stated this after a meeting with French and EU officials on September 8.

“The participants in the discussion aren’t fixed in the preliminary document, but we have highlighted that Abkhazia and South Ossetia must have plenipotentiary places at the table in discussions like this’, Lavrov pointed out. According to him, one of the main issues of the discussions will be the security and stability of the region. (Prime-News)