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The Daily Beat: 24 January

Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze spoke with his Swedish counterpart Paul Johnson. The Ministers discussed regional security, defense cooperation, and strengthening the implementation of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package. Both ministers agreed to meet in person. Sweden supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and the defense sector in general.  

The seaport of Sochi is holding talks on starting maritime passenger transportation across the Black Sea to Georgia, Russian state news agency TASS reported, quoting the director of the port. The report said the first passenger boats would leave for the Georgian port of Batumi this summer. Georgia’s maritime agency refuted the report and denied any negotiations are ongoing.

Doctors confirmed that former President Mikheil Saakashvili, hospitalized while serving his sentence, tested positive for COVID-19. The chief doctor of the clinic, where Saakashvili is being treated for multiple ailments, denied the defense lawyer’s statement that Saakashvili had collapsed. The doctor said the patient’s condition is stable and does not require intensive care.   

Georgian law enforcement uses software made in Russia and Belarus for its forensics. This is based on the analysis of public data by, an open data research portal, as reported in the media. The study says that police forensics have been using face recognition and ballistics software made by the Russian company Papillon Systems since 2013. The last update was in 2020. A contract with Belarusian company Todes Ltd., which provides software for matching fingerprints, has reportedly been active since 2013 and was last updated in 2015. There has been no official comment on the potential risks of entrusting highly sensitive databases to Russian and Belarusian software companies that provide similar services to their government agencies.

The fact of the Day

Family members of one-third (90) of 321 active judges are employed by the state and were paid a combined salary of GEL 3 million in 2021. In 60 of these 90 cases, a family member was hired, promoted, or changed position after a judge was appointed. At least one family member of 51 judges works in the judicial system. This comes from the report by IDFI, a watchdog. Judge Levan Murusidze, a member of the Supreme Council of Justice, decried the report as an attempt to “discredit” the judiciary and said watchdogs were “doing evil deeds.” 


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