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The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 10
UNM Ends Parliamentary Boycott

UNM parliamentary minority said after a meeting on July 8 that it would resume its parliamentary work from this week when the parliament, which is in summer recess, will reconvene for a special session to discuss bills it failed to finalize during the spring session.

The UNM announced a boycott on the last sitting of parliament’s spring session on June 28 in protest against the arrest of four senior officials from the Tbilisi municipality.

The goal of the boycott was to attract public attention to the “illegal arrests” of the Tbilisi city officials, UNM parliamentary minority leader Davit Bakradze said on July 8, adding that this goal has been achieved and now UNM’s task is to engage in parliamentary debates on number of important bills. (Civil.Ge)

Georgian, Russian diplomats discuss transport issues on phone

Issues of restoring transport communication between Georgia and Russia were discussed during a telephone conversation between the Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative in relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Gregory Karasin.

They discussed the possibilities and ways for restoring bilateral air communication and the problems Russian tourists face at the Larsi customs point when travelling to Georgia.

The date of the meeting of the two diplomats will be also be agreed on and announced in a few days. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia plans to “stir up” OSCE mission restoration at all levels

The Georgian government plans to revive restoration efforts of the OSCE mission on all international levels, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalagania, said at a regular briefing on Monday. According to him, the Russian delegation is blocking the restoration of the OSCE mission in Georgia. Jalagania said that an important statement was made at the Istanbul meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in connection with the restoration of the mission.

He also said that during its presidency, Greece made a proposal in connection with the restoration of the mission, but the issue was not discussed in the future. The OSCE mission's activity in Georgia was suspended after the events of 2008, in connection with Russian complaints. (Trend)

Interior Minister meets with students

Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, met with thirty students who will be employed at the Ministry after successfully passing the competition announced by the ministry. 110 other successful students will work at the ministry as interns. The minister spoke about the students’ employment program initiated by the ministry. The selection of the students participating in the contest was accomplished in May. The Ministry discussed 500 applications before selecting the best of them. (Rustavi 2)

Former head of Georgia’s Military Police declared wanted

The joint operational-investigative activities conducted by the Prosecutor's office of Georgia and the military police resulted in the prosecution of former head of the Department of the Military Police of the Ministry of Defence, Megis Kardava.

The statement released on Thursday by the prosecutor's office said the investigation established that Kardava misappropriated 496,273 lari allocated for various operational activities during his tenure from February 1 to July 6, 2012. In the period from February 21 to July 10, 2012, he embezzled 188,000 lari owned by the Ministry of Defence. (Trend)

Georgian police seizes 116 kg heroin

The Georgian Interior Ministry said it seized 116 kg of heroin and arrested two foreign citizens in what appears to be one of its biggest drug hauls to date.

According to the Interior Ministry, 232 packages of heroin each weighing 500 grams, worth “tens of millions of U.S. dollars”, were hidden in a Mercedes-Benz Atego light truck, which entered Georgian territory on July 3 via the Ninotsminda border crossing point, which is located on the Georgian-Armenian border.

The police released video footage showing officers taking packages from within the walls of the cargo area of the box truck.

A Turkish citizen was driving the truck, which had Moldavian number plates; he was accompanied by another person who is a citizen of Moldova – both of them have been detained, according to the Interior Ministry.

The Interior Ministry said drugs were intended for “international transit.”

“An investigation is in progress in order to clarify the factual circumstances of the case,” the Interior Ministry said. (Civil.Ge)

Head of Council of Europe’s Monitoring Committee concerned with political situation in Georgia

The Chairman of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Lars O. Molin, has expressed his concern over the political situation in Georgia, according to a statement released following committee meetings in Tbilisi.

“The proceedings initiated in respect of local self-government bodies cause concern for our committee. This process has prevented normal functioning of local self-governing bodies. Therefore, we call on the Georgian government to respect the rights of politicians. The Congress is monitoring the ongoing processes in Georgia,” the statement says. (Trend)

Georgian Coast Guard vessel to participate in NATO international exercises

The Georgian Coast Guard vessel P-24 Sukhumi will take part in the 'Sea Breeze 2013' exercises in Bulgaria.

According to the Georgian Coast Guard, the exercises will be held within the 'Partnership for Peace' Program.

The exercises cover the following areas: joint manoeuvring, detention and boarding operations, the transfer of cargo in motion, towing, protection from terrorists, the transmission of light signals and the monitoring of sea areas. (Trend)

Diplomatic status to be granted to MIA representatives

Diplomatic status may be granted to the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. They will be police-security attaches and liaison officers. Amendments will be made in the Law on Diplomatic Service.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, after consulting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will appoint the police/security attache and liaison officers.

In addition, these legislative amendments are represented with the new draft Law on International Law Enforcement Cooperation. Its aim is the implementation of effective international cooperation.

The draft law concerns issues of international cooperation, which are related to the exchange of personal and operative-investigative information, protection of participants in the criminal process, conduct of the operative-investigative operations and other issues in the competency of the law enforcement agencies. (Front News)