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The News in Brief

Friday, January 6
Special Tasks Department got involved in the project for ensuring safety in the ski resorts

Officers of the Special Tasks Department have become involved in a project for ensuring safety in Georgia’s ski resorts. Under the initiative of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Mgebrishvili, the pilot version of the project was launched last year in Gudauri and this year covered entire ski resorts of the country.

Austrian experts have conducted tactical training in skiing for up to 20 officers of Special Tasks Department. The training was held on the regional base of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti under the Special Tasks Department.

The training participants were introduced to the basic principles of handling a victim, searching for victims of an avalanche and rescue operations; they were also involved in simulated exercises. (

Magda Papidze’s case not to be reviewed

The Court of Appeal has made a decision not to review the case of Magda Papidze, who had been convicted of murdering her husband and child.

Papidze’s lawyers were demanding revision of the verdict against her, as it was delivered by the jury in violation of rules.

The Court of Appeal denied the lawyers’ cassation suit. The court’s ruling cannot be appealed.

Magda Papidze was sentenced to life imprisonment by the jury in July. She was convicted of premeditated murder of her husband and 5-year-old son. (IPN)

Georgia’s Competition Agency looks into whether Russia’s Yandex Taxi is in line with local laws

Georgia’s Competition Agency is studying the activities of Yandex Taxi in Georgia following complaints of local taxi companies claiming that Yandex violates Georgia’s competition laws.

Yandex Taxi is Russia’s largest, online taxi-booking service.

Georgian company ‘Taxi Service’ and a trade union representing Georgian taxi drivers argued that Yandex Taxi, which entered the Georgian market in August of 2016, offers its services at a much lower price than other local taxi companies, effectively employing an anti-competitive approach and working outside the industry’s competition laws.

The head of Georgia’s Competition Agency, Nodar Khaduri, said his office would study the case and act in accordance with legislation.

"We have already started preliminary work. We have contacted the relevant agencies of our neighboring countries, including Armenia,” Khaduri said.

He explained that Armenia’s competition regulator also had a similar experience with Yandex Taxi. In October 2016, the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition of Armenia issued a warning to Yandex Taxi after the agency proved that the Russian company had been carrying out anti-competitive activities in Armenia.

The Commission said that not only did the taxi service not make a profit during its several months of operations in Armenia, but even lost money. Despite this, the company paid its drivers much better than other local taxi companies. The agency said that such activities could damage the interests of smaller taxi companies who would lose both drivers and clients as Yandex offered lower fees to passengers and higher salaries to drivers.

As concerns Georgia, Yanex Taxi prices are almost twice as cheap as that of local taxi companies.

Meanwhile, Yandex Taxi’s introduction to the Georgian economy last summer caused a controversy after a portion of Georgian citizens protested against the fact that Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (so called South Ossetia), two of Georgia’s Russian - occupied regions, were not included in the map of Georgia on the company’s website. This was shortly corrected after numerous complaints were lodged with the company. (

Georgian “Biela” to Fight for Replacement of Foreign Chocolate

Company “Bueri”, producer of various sweets, plans to start massive production of chocolate tiles.

According to Lasha Topuria, 4 types of chocolate are manufactured with small volume at this stage: black chocolate, black chocolate with nuts, chocolate with milk and cappuccino.

The company participated in the program “Produce in Georgia”. As a result, the company has added a new production line with an investment of 150 000 USD. However, the first stock of chocolate tiles was produced early in 2016.

“We make the chocolate at the place. It has high quality and we have ability to replace “Korona” and “Alpen Gold” on the market. Our Georgian chocolate does not have a low quality, it is better and cheaper,” the businessman declared, and notes that the realization of the potential of Georgian products is hampered by the attitude of Georgian customers, who think that foreign customers are better, which is not always correct.

“We must not think merely about exports, but also the replacement of foreign products by local ones,” Topuria declared.

However, the company will start production of jelly bon soon, sample stocks are already made and Georgian jelly bon will appear on the market within 2-3 months. (

Former MP’s murderer sentenced to 11 years in jail

Telavi District Court fully accepted the evidence submitted by the prosecution and found Avtandil Zaalishvili guilty of the murder of Nodar Modebadze, the former member of the Parliament, under Article 108 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office reports.

The evidence investigated during the court hearing revealed, that on August 8 2016, at 16:00 at Khmeliani Places, adjacent territory to the Akura village of the Telavi District, Nodar Modebadze and Avtandil Zaalishvili had an argument during which Nodar Modebadze verbally abused Avtandil Zaalishvili.

Avtandil Zaalishvili, offended by the said incident, left the scene and on retaliatory motives decided to kill Nodar Modebadze. To execute his intent, on the same day, Avtandil Zaalishvili returned to Khmeliani Places armed with a hunting rifle, shot Nodar Modebadze twice in abdomen and fled the scene. Nodar Modebadze died onsite due to the wounds inflicted.

Law enforcers arrested Avtandil Zaalishvili in Akura village, on August 9. Charge against him was filed under Article 108 (murder) of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Telavi District Court found Avtandil Zaalishvili fully guilty of the charge filed and sentenced him to deprivation of liberty for a term of 11 years in length as the type and size of penalty. (IPN)