The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 31
Pace of implementing the essential package is “very good” - James Appathurai

According to NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai, implementation of the essential package is moving "at a very good pace".

"The pace is very good. Our experts are assisting Georgia to create a modern training center. We set up a working group that will soon arrive in Georgia. This summer we will have joint exercises in Georgia.

NATO not always does things quickly but in this case it has and the government of Georgia was also quick and committed,"- James Appathurai said at an online Q&A at the Atlantic Council.

He also said that NATO assists Georgia more than Moldova or Ukraine in strengthening its defense capacity.

According to him, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova are under strong pressure from Russia to change their political courses.

"We believe in NATO that all three countries deserve more support in strengthening their defensive capacity.

I can say that at this stage NATO assists Georgia more than Moldova or Ukraine in strengthening its defense capacity. We are creating a joint training center in Georgia, as well as a school for increasing defense capabilities,"- said James Appathurai.

According to him, if some countries decide to offer assistance, equipment or training to Georgia, it will complement the NATO efforts.

UNM Givi Targamadze questioned about police leaks

MP Givi Targamadze was Saturday questioned for nine hours in a case related to the leaking of information from the Interior Ministry.

More than a week ago, a Georgian Interior Ministry employee was fired for allegedly handing over secret information to Givi Targamadze, a prominent member of parliament for ex-President Saakashvili’s party, the National Movement.

On Thursday, Targamadze appeared at the Prosecutor General’s Office to be questioned as a witness. As a parliamentarian, he was not strictly speaking required to show up for questioning.

As he left, Targamadze said the questions were ‘lame’ but that he provided investigators with all the information they needed: Energy minister’s mafia links.

He also told prosecutors about some things they didn’t ask him about.

“I also provided investigators with information about multiple violations by high ranking officials, police heads collaborating with the mafia world,” he said, and urged investigators to start looking into his claims.

Then he went on to specify who he was accusing of conspiring with the Georgian mafia: The head of the Prime Minister’s security, the former head of the Interior Minister’s security, and the former head of Adjara police department and his deputies.

“And Vice Prime Minister Kakhi Kaladze, who actively participates in all of this,” he added, accusing all of them of being involved in ‘forming a mafia state police system.’

Kaladze is a former professional footballer, who now serves as energy minister as well as vice prime minister.

Targamadze is wanted in Russia, accused of supporting the opposition and participating in organizing a revolution. He is accused of funding the activism of Sergey Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front, his assistant Leonid Razvizhayev and the activist Konstantin Lebedev, who was convicted to two and a half years in prison in 2013 in Russia.
(DF watch)