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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 6
Justice Minister Visits France

The Georgian Justice Minister, Tea Tsulukiani, met French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and other officials in Paris on May 5 to discuss Georgia’s implementation of its visa liberalisation action plan with the EU, the Georgian Justice Ministry said.

She will also meet Secretary General for European Affairs Philippe Leglise-Costa.

“The main goal of the visit is to inform relevant authorities ahead of the [EU’s Eastern Partnership] summit in Riga about Georgia’s implementation of the visa liberalisation action plan. Tea Tsulukiani, along with other ministers, undertakes active efforts ahead of the May 21-22 Riga summit in order for the EU-member states to give positive assessment of Georgia’s efforts in respect of Association Agreement and visa liberalisation agenda,” the Georgian Justice Ministry said.

eanwhile, Georgian Interior Minister and Foreign Minister, Vakhtang Gomelauri, and Tamar Beruchashvili are now paying a visit to Germany. (

EU Prize for Journalism: Contest now open in Georgia

The European Union (EU) has marked World Press Freedom Day by launching the fourth edition of the EU Prize for Journalism in Georgia.

Yesterday the EU announced applications were now open for the coveted award, which would acknowledge the country’s best journalistic works originally published/aired/posted between October 1, 2014 and October 30, 2015 in Georgia.

"The EU Prize for Journalism is the first of its kind in Georgia, which recognises works that have contributed to promoting a better understanding of the values of the European Union and reflect high standards of journalistic ethics and professionalism,” said the EU in a statement.

Winners will be named in five categories:

• Best investigative story in print or online media

• Best investigative TV segment and/or radio coverage

• Best online or print blog

• The most informative online media channel

• Best documentary photo reflecting EU values

To be eligible for a prize, journalists must send in their application in before the November 2 deadline.

This year the introduction of the Best Documentary category aimed to encourage photo journalists to reflect EU values in their images. This award will go to the photograph that best expresses the idea of human rights including minority rights, social justice, respect for human dignity, freedom of speech, democracy, gender equality and the rule of law.

Each prize winner will receive ˆ1,500.

Moreover, within the framework of the EU Prize for Journalism, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) will award the third edition of the Special Prize for Peace Journalism.

The special EUMM prize acknowledges best-balanced and unbiased articles in print, audiovisual or online media on the subject of conflicts.

The winning journalist will be awarded a fellowship to participate in the Caucasus programme at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) headquarters in London.

The EU Prize for Journalism application form is available from (

Business associations release statement on Ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia

Georgian Business Associations have released a joint statement concerning Business Ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia:

“We, business associations, as professional unions operating in the most important economic sector would like to express our concern over an incident that occurred several days ago, which we feel was meant to tarnish the image and reputation of the institution that is Business Ombudsman. It will surely result in a serious blow to the business environment and the country’s economy.

Since his appointment as the Business Ombudsman, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia has been trying to assist business representatives within the framework of his competency. There exist many examples proving this. It’s paradoxical, but today businessmen have to protect him instead. This is a very unpleasant occurrence, which will have a negative influence on investors’ action.

Therefore, we will closely observe the following developments and try to immediately react to displays of improper attitude towards the fact,”- reads the statement.

This statement was signed by the Association of Small and Average Enterprises, Oil Product Importers Union, Association of Oil Products Importers, Association of Banks of Georgia, Association of Farmers of Georgia, Association of Sheep-breeders, Association of Young Financers and Businessman and Association of Wheat Producers of Georgia.

Several days ago, a recorded phone of conversation between businessman Vakhtang Godziashvili and Giorgi Gakharia was spread. The businessman was accusing Gakharia and Zviad Jankarashvili of interfering with his business. (IPN)

Police Detain “STU Tbilisi” Football Club President

The officers of Anti-corruption Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a result of operative-searching and investigative activities simultaneously held in Tbilisi and Kutaisi, a number of individuals were detained for bribing participants of professional sport competitions.

As Internal Affairs Ministry informs, law enforcers have detained Otar Shengelia- President of “STU Tbilisi” football club, former selections manager of “Sachkhere Chikhura” former football player- Davit Gendzekhadze, Omar N. -representative of Asian Bookmaker Sports Betting facility -„ibcbet“ in Caucasus region, footballers of “Kharagauli Chkherilema” football club – Giorgi G. and Temur S. former footballer of “Kutaisi Torpedo” Giga B. and two citizens – Ioseb G. and Giorgi K. who participated in bribery.

The investigation established that the arrested persons in exchange for money which varied from 10 000 to 20 000 GEL made pre-agreements with the representatives of the different teams, participating in the National Championship soccer matches for achieving the desired results. Then, based on the information received in advance, made bets via online bookmaking web sites and the won money was shared between each other.

Investigation is in progress on the fact of bribing participant or organizer of professional sports competition committed by the organized group, article 203, III part of the Criminal Code. The committed crime envisages from 4 to 6 years of imprisonment. (Frontnews)

Abashidze, Karasin to Hold Next Meeting in May or in June

The exact date of meeting between Zurab Abashidze, Special Representative of Georgian Prime Minister for Relations with Russia, and Gregory Karasin, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, is not yet known.

Zurab Abashidze stated on May 5 that the meeting will be held in May or in June.

The Special Representative of Georgian Prime Minister does not rule out certain changes in the meeting of the format, however, he does not specify any details.

“I would be grateful if our partners or even opponents will give us good advice. We will try to use this advice. There are some problems, but the communication channel needs to be maintained. No matter, who will be – Abashidze –Karasin or two other persons, this is the channel of communication between Georgia and Russia,” – Zurab Abashidze said. (Frontnews)

Military equipment for U.S.-Georgia “Noble Partner exercises” bound for Batumi

American military equipment for supporting the Georgian Armed Forces’ joint exercises is on its way to Georgia.

According the U.S. Army website, 14 Bradley Infantry battle Vehicles and several wheeled support vehicles were loaded onto a cargo ship in Varna, Bulgaria.

The ship carrying the military equipment departed from Varna on May 2, but it is unknown when the equipment will arrive on Georgian soil.

On May 11-25, Georgia will host the U.S.-Georgia joint exercise, named Noble Partner. The training will be held at the Vaziani military airfield and military firing ground, which is located near Tbilisi.

This will be the first exercise of this nature to be conducted in Georgia. (IPN)