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The News in Brief

Friday, December 23
Scandal at Regional Broadcasters Association

A scandalous incident occurred in the Association of Regional Broadcasters. The chairperson of the organization Natia Kupreishvili accuses the former member of the association, Badri Nanitashvili of beating her up. Kupreishvili also accuses her former colleague of intimidating her husband with a pistol.

The chairperson of the association has been already interrogated by the police. In the interview with Rustavi2 Kupreishvili said the conflict between her and Nanitashvili began three years ago, in 2009, when she was appointed the director general of the Association of Regional Broadcasters. Since then, Nanitashvili used to insult Kupreishvili verbally, disapproving of the projects the Association was implementing.

As for the specific incident, Kupreishvili says they were attending a meeting at the IREX office, where they had to discuss the plans of the association and the issue of the TV Company Trialeti run by Nanitashvili no longer being a member of the association, the issue was on the agenda of the meeting as well. Kupreishvili says she was insulted by Nanitashvili at the meeting, but he physically abused her after the meeting. (Rustavi 2)

US congressional bill approves USD 66mln assistance to Georgia

In terms of US aid to the Caucasus, Congress approved President Obama’s proposed economic assistance levels, including USD $40 million for Armenia, USD $16.6 million for Azerbaijan, and USD $66 million for Georgia. The document describes the basic priorities of the state budget 2012.

In Georgia and Ukraine, Congress plans to assist healthcare development programs.

Overall, the omnibus bill provides USD $626.7 million in assistance for the countries of Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA), which is USD $69 million below the FY 2011 level. (Rustavi 2)

EPP president sums up visit to Georgia

The President of the European People`s Party Wilfried Martens has assessed his four-day visit to the Caucasus as successful in a press release published on the EPP official website.

In Georgia, he visited Tbilisi and Batumi where he had meetings with President Mikheil Saakashvili, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri, President of Parliament David Bakradze, and other senior figures from the government, the parliament, and the United National Movement party (an observer member of the EPP). President Martens also hosted the first trilateral Eastern Partnership meeting of EPP and like-minded ministers from Georgia, Moldova, and Armenia in Batumi.

`My visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan was particularly fruitful since I had the opportunity to explain the importance of implementing the Eastern Partnership and, through this implementation, the adoption of European values and norms. Georgia, of course, is leading the way for the entire south Caucasus region, thanks to the brave reforms of President Saakashvili,` President Martens stated. (Rustavi 2)

Early release commission to assemble on Dec. 25

How many prisoners will be released for New Year celebrations before the term of their sentences expire will be clarified on December 25. The State Early Release Commission will assemble at the President`s Administration to discuss the applications of the convicts - the chairperson of the commission Elene Tevdoradze said.

Over one hundred applications, five of which are the cases of minor convicts, have been submitted to the commission up to now.

It should be noted that the president pardoned 137 convicts on Saint George`s Day, November 23. (Rustavi 2)

Free Georgia Demands Investigation of 1991-1992 Events

Free Georgia condemned the military coup of 1991 and demanded an objective investigation of the event. As the party leader Kakha Kukava said, criminals must be punished as today Georgia has to deal with the grave results of the 1991 military coup.

“On 22 December, 1991, illegal bands set up by the so called opposition started to attack the legal government. The first president Zviad Gamsakhurdia had to leave his homeland on 6 January, 1992. The events inspired by outer forces caused civil confrontation. The illegal formations dispersed peaceful manifestations of Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s supporters by using weapons. Hundreds of the protesters were murdered”, Kukava said.

He says that the aftermath of the events made it obvious that the fall of the legal government brought Georgia to the verge of disaster.

“The economy and infrastructure was destroyed, the number of emigrants increased, serious problem for demography. Separatists used the disorder and with the blatant involvement of foreign powers, Georgia lost its jurisdiction of its ancient territories – Abkhazia and Samachablo. Finally, we see that the "opposition" acted not with love of their homeland but with private interests and they or their heirs still remain as head of the government and continue the disintegration of the country”, Kukava said. (Interpressnews)

Court to pass judgment on Bidzina Ivanishvili Lawsuit on 27 December

Tbilisi Civil Court will pass judgment on Bidzina Ivanishvili and his wife Ekaterine Khvedelidze's lawsuit on 27 December at 14:00. The partiers at last were given an opportunity to plead their case. The plaintiff tried to prove why the president of Georgia’s 11 October decree revoking Bidzina Ivanishvili and Ekaterine Khvedelidze citizenship must be abolished.

The president’s representative declared that this action was based on law and procedure.

The president stripped Bidzina Ivanishvili and Ekaterine Khvedelidze of their citizenship on 11 October. Bidzina Ivanishvili’s lawyers filed the lawsuit on 11 November. (Interpressnews)