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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 4
“Zurab Zhvania and Raul Usupov were killed in Kakheti in 2005”

Georgia’s former Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and Kvemo Kartli Deputy Governor Raul Usupov were killed in Telavi, Kakheti, in 2005, prisoner Teimuraz Gvaradze said on Monday.

According to the inmate, he and eleven people, including three current ministers witnessed the murder of Zurab Zhvania and Raul Usupov in 2005.

“I have a video footage, which will be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia”, the prisoner said. He wants to be questioned regarding this case.

Zhvania was found dead in an apartment in Tbilisi together with, Raul Yusupov in 2005. (Frontnews)

Maestro TV: UNM member told lie at European Council debate

Tbilisi-based Maestro TV has accused a member of Georgia’s opposition United National Movement (UNM) party of "telling a lie” at the European Council media freedom debate on January 29.

Maestro TV issued a written statement and said UNM member Giorgi Kandelaki lied when he said a group of journalists had left the TV channel in protest against the fact that the Government Administration constantly interfered in their editorial policy in December last year.

"Maestro TV claims that this information spread by the UNM member is a lie,” the statement read.

"[The TV channel] calls on all politicians not to use the processes that are going on in media for their own interests. Maestro TV is ready to cooperate with the Council of Europe in case of interest, as well as with other international organisations and provide them with the accurate information about the current processes.”

The statement also said Maestro hoped the Council of Europe would not make its conclusions based on only one( dishonest) source.

Meanwhile, a large group of journalists and producers quit Maestro TV on December 22, 2014 after its senior manager and journalist in charge of newsroom, Nino Zhizhilashvili, was sacked.

Meanwhile, Zhizhilashvili, a long-time journalist, former deputy director of Maestro TV overseeing political and news programs and former anchor of the TV station’s flagship news program at 9pm also said Kandelaki’s comments at the European Council’s debate did not correspond to reality.

"The information given by us certainly provides the basis for analyzing of undesirable media trends, but we still ask you not to compose versions based on your own imagination while citing us,” Zhizhilashvili said following Kandelaki's speech at the debate.

Meanwhile, Georgian Members of Parliament had a confrontation at the Council of Europe during the debate on freedom of media on January 29. The UNM representatives said the Georgian Government pressured media, while Georgia’s ruling party representatives said media was free in Georgia. (

Alexander Lukashenko set to visit Georgia in April

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is planning to visit Georgia, RIA Novosti has reported according to information provided by the Belarusian Minister of Agriculture.

“This significant visit is planned to be held in April,”- the Belarusian official said at a Georgian and Belarusian intergovernmental session regarding economic cooperation. (IPN)

Art Critics: Panorama does not fit image of Old Tbilisi

Art critics have published a report concerning project "Panorama Tbilisi" where they mention that both the project and the residence of former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili are "inadequate" to the image of Old Tbilisi.

The critics support their statement with claims that the project and residence of Ivanishvili suppresses the architecture of Old Tbilisi.

United National Movement (UNM) Member Giorgi Abesadze commented on the report, stating that the City Council is waiting for reports from other specialists before making a decision. (Rustavi2)