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The News in Brief

Friday, February 13
“The FBI made conclusions before on the basis of the information it was given, and will be happy to look at any new information that the government might want to present”

The FBI made conclusions before on the basis of the information it was given, and will be happy to look at any new information that the government might want to present, U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland told journalists on Wednesday regarding the FBI’s role in the investigation of former Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania’s case.

“Our position on this has been very clear going back several years now. The United States has always been willing to lend its law enforcement forensic capabilities to assist in the investigation of whatever happened to Mr. Zhvania and the person who was found with him. That offer of forensic assistance was used before, and it’s available again if anybody wants to ask us for involvement.

Zurab Zhvania was found dead in an apartment in Tbilisi together with, Kvemo Kartli Deputy Governor Raul Usupov in 2005. (

Inventive Georgians create app for travelers

A group of Georgian students have created a free mobile application (app) which provides a variety of information for travelers, hikers and adventurers.

The app, called Pathway, is a portal for people who like to travel to share their experiences with others.

The mobile app is gaining attention around the world and was recently featured by Microsoft at the Student Startup Camp 2015 at the University of Tartu, Estonia.

Ilia Aptsiauri, who is a software engineering student at Tartu University, was one of the app’s creators.

Aptsiauri said one immense benefit of the app was to make it as easy as possible for travelers to search for activities to do. The app also offers guests the option to experience a hike in virtual reality before deciding whether or not the hike was something they wanted to do in person.

The app also allowed travelers the option to add travel routes and descriptions to the system, which can then be shared with other users.

The app is currently only available for Windows phones but developers are planning to develop the application for iPhone and Android devices. (

New regulations on purchase of agricultural land by foreigners

The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development have elaborated a balanced model of regulations related to the purchase of agricultural land by foreigners.

According to the Justice Ministry, the model supports the national interest of Georgia, while protecting the rights of foreign investors. In addition, it serves to make Georgia attractive for foreign investment, which greatly enhances economic development.

According to the amendments: foreigners have the right to own agricultural land if they live on it, are married to a Georgian citizen, or through inheritance. If a foreigner leaves the household, or divorces, he must sell the land within six months. Former spouse or other members of the household have an advantage when buying the land.

In other cases, a foreigner has the right to own land if he has a residence permit and the land is less than 5 hectares. Though, in total, he can own no more than 20 hectares.

As per the proposed draft law, a legal entity founded by a foreigner may purchase no less than 20 hectares of land, while in total, the land they own should not exceed 200 hectares. However, these rules do not apply to Georgia’s commercial banks, micro-finance organizations and international finance institutions.

A foreigner has no right to purchase agricultural land within 5-kilometer alongside Georgia’s border or the border defined by the government. (IPN)