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The News in Brief

Wednesday, April 9
Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for Georgian ex-Interior Ministry official

Police are searching for the former Georgian Interior Ministry official Erekle Kodua after he was named on Interpol’s wanted list.

The world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries, issued a red notice in Kodua’s name.

The Interpol website read Kodua was wanted by Georgian authorities in relation to two charges. He faces two counts of ‘exceeding official authority’ and two counts of ‘fraud’.

An Interpol red notice means the person concerned was wanted by national jurisdictions for prosecution or to serve a sentence based on an arrest warrant or court decision. Interpol’s role was to assist the national police forces in identifying and locating the person of interest, with a view to their arrest and extradition or similar lawful action.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia laid charges against Kodua, who was the country’s ex-head of the Special Operative Department (SOD) of the Interior Ministry on March 17, 2014.

The SOD was disestablished after the 2012 Parliamentary Elections.

Kodua was charged with abusing power and committing fraud. The charges against him come with a maximum penalty of nine years imprisonment.

Kodua fled Georgia after the Parliamentary Elections in 2012. He is believed to be living in Prague. (Agenda.Ge)

Georgia, Lithuania sign action plan on European and Euro-Atlantic integration

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili met with Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrius Krivas.

The meeting focused on the progress made by Georgia in integration to the European and Euro-Atlantic structures and the prospects for cooperation in this area.

Krivas expressed his country's support for Georgia's signing the association agreement as soon as possible and assigning the action plan to Georgia at the upcoming summit of NATO.

Deputy Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Lithuania signed an action plan providing the fulfillment of the terms of the Georgian-Lithuanian Charter on Integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic Structures. (Trend)

Video conferencing to be free on 22-23 April

Georgian Minister of Corrections, Sozar Subari informed that in relation to the Easter Holiday the inmates and their relatives will be granted the possibility to enjoy free video conferencing on 22-23 April.

According to the ministry, on April 22-23, inmate video visitation will be free in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Telavi, Akhaltsikhe, Batumi and Gori probation offices.

According to the acting legislation, if an inmate grants consent, any citizen of Georgia can use the video visitation service that lasts for 15 minute; apparently, to enjoy this service, the people will have to fill out an application in advance. (InterPressNews)

Georgia creates commission to handle election violations

Georgia has created an interagency commission to handle violations ahead of the local elections, slated for June.

The commission will be led by Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani.

Other members are the deputy interior minister, deputy foreign minister, deputy finance minister, deputy defense minister, deputy regional development and infrastructure minister, deputy education minister and deputy prison minister.

The commission is created in order to prevent violations of election legislation during the election campaign and to react to violations on Election Day.

It will work with political parties and election lists, as well as local and international organizations, observers and media.

There will be sessions at least once every two weeks, and once a week after the registration of election lists is finished.

After the results of the election are known, the commission will stop functioning. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Prime Minister meets with UNDP Resident Representative

Prime Minister of Georgia met with the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Georgia Niels Scott.

The sides discussed the spheres of cooperation of Georgia and UN Development Program.

The Prime Minister informed the UNDP Resident Representative about the social - economic development strategy and noted that the aim of the document is to increase the private sector competitiveness, human capital development and assess to finances.

According to Irakli Gharibashvili’s explanation, the Government of Georgia hopes to cooperate with the UN Development Program in the mentioned spheres. (Rustavi 2)

PM Gharibashvili to visit Germany in June

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili is expected to visit Germany in early June upon invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Georgian PM’s office said on Monday.

“Invitation by Angela Merkel is of special significance in the lead up to signing the Association Agreement” with the EU, which is planned for no later than June, the Georgian PM’s press office said.

Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, will visit Germany on April 10-12. According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, Panjikidze will meet her German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and other officials. (Civil.Ge)

Russia Says Militant Umarov 'Neutralized'

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced the "neutralization" of Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov's "activities."

FSB Director Aleksandr Bortnikov made the announcement on April 8, saying the "activities" of self-proclaimed Caucasus Emirate leader Umarov were "neutralized" earlier this year.

Bortnikov did not elaborate, saying just that 33 special combat operations against Islamic insurgents had been conducted in the North Caucasus, in which 36 leaders and 65 members of religious extremist groups had been killed and 200 terrorists had been arrested.

A pro-Islamist militant website, Kavkaz Tsentr, last month issued a report saying Umarov had "become a martyr."

The report gave no details about Umarov's purported death.

A video clip posted on March 18 showed Aliasaskhab Kebekov (aka Ali Abu-Mukhammad), the supreme religious authority of the Caucasus Emirate proclaimed in 2007 by then-Chechen Republic Ichkeria President Doku Umarov, claiming he had been chosen to succeed Umarov as Caucasus Emirate leader.

He said he was appointed by a six-member "shura," or council.

Umarov has been linked to a series of bombings across Russia, including Moscow. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)