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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 28
United National Movement activist claims he was attacked by local officials in Rustavi

An activist for the United National Movement party claims that several officials at Rustavi City Hall, including the deputy mayor, insulted and beat him on Monday night.

Mamuka Chikovani, the head of the UNM branch in Rustavi, told DF Watch that among the attackers were Levan Oniani, the head of City Hall’s military registration and conscription service, Levan Kupatadze, the head of the supervisory service, Zaza Jaiani, an advisor to the mayor, as well as members of Rustavi City Council Mamuka Mikautadze, who chairs the finance-budget committee, and Merab Sulaberidze, the head of the Georgian Dream coalition faction.

Chikovani explained that Mamuka Abuladze, the victim, has his own bar, but the alleged attackers rarely went to that bar, nor did they have any conflict with him. However, on April 25 they visited the bar and drank a copious amount of alcohol.

“It seems they were drunk and insulted our activist Mamuka Abuladze, scolded him and then beat him up. He has facial injuries and stitches on his lips,” Chikovani told us.

Abuladze does not know if the attackers were questioned or tested for blood alcohol levels.

“We were told that due to the interests of the investigation, they wouldn’t provide us with case details.”

Tamar Akubardia, a press spokesperson for Rustavi City Hall, called the incident “a conscious provocation”. She claimed the attack was a result of Abuladze’s verbal insults against the City Hall employees.

“This was a conflict between two parties, which was a result of Mamuka Abuladze’s deliberate provocation, after which he invited the press and accused everyone whose names he could remember from the local government,” she said.

An investigation has been launched into violations of article 125 of the Criminal Code, which concerns battery; a violation which results in injuries may be punished by a fine, from 120 to 180 hours of community work or up to 15 months of corrective labour. (DF watch)

Georgia-EU Association Committee addresses PACE to discuss Georgia’s visa liberalization

The Georgia-EU Association Committee has addressed the European Parliament to discuss the issue of granting visa liberalization to Georgia at the summer session.

The recording was made in a resolution adopted in Brussels at the second meeting of the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee.

It should be noted that the European People's Party was against the mentioned amendment, though their initiative failed.

"In the end, a very positive resolution has been adopted. There are a lot of good elements for us. The European People's Party resisted our amendment, in which we say that we need to speed up visa liberalization and take a decision at the summer session," said Republican Levan Berdzenishvili.

It is noteworthy that the EPP proposal was not supported by the United National Movement either.

"We, the United National Movement voted against the EPP proposal, because the Georgian population really deserves visa liberalization,” said United National Movement member Tariel Londaridze. (ipn)