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The Daily Beat: 12 April

The US Embassy issued a supportive announcement on a working visit of 10 Georgian civil and administrative law judges to the United States, saying it stands with judges and other legal professionals everywhere who strive to make reasoned, independent decisions, free from pressure and external influence. The Embassy stressed that “the United States is proud to support hard-working, honest, professional judges from Georgia who are committed to upholding the law for the benefit of Georgia’s people.” The embassy’s announcement came following the imposition of US sanctions on 4 Georgian judges “due to corruption,” followed by the declaration of full support by the Georgian government for the Georgian judges and accusations of “politicized interference” in Georgian justice.

BBC journalistic investigation linked former defense minister and Formula TV owner Davit Kezerashvili to a global scam network, allegedly revealing the Milton Group, comprising 152 brands, including Solo Capitals, defrauding customers of thousands and hundreds of thousands of pounds. The investigation identified a shadowy network of individuals behind it, uncovering several names that eventually led to a single figure – David Kezerashvili, the former defense minister of Georgia. Davit Kezerashvili denied any connection with a scam network and expressed full readiness to cooperate with investigative authorities of the European countries, adding that he would use all legal remedies to confirm “both the inaccuracy of the facts and the false assumptions made by the BBC.

Transparency International – Georgia (TI-Georgia) highlighted possible corruption behind the construction permit obtained by Russian citizens, calling on the Anti-Corruption Agency and the State Security Service to probe into the case. TI-Georgia released a statement on April 12 raising concerns about corruption risks in how Russian citizens obtained the permit to construct a new residential area, “Salibauri Hills,” in Batumi, Adjara. It is believed that the license for the 16,000 square meter project was granted after Georgian partners of the Russian businessman made a political donation to the ruling Georgian Dream party. TI-Georgia suggested that the Russian owners may have used Georgian citizens to donate and obtain the necessary permit, as Georgian law prohibits political donations from foreign citizens.

Imprisoned ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili was awarded the Prometheus Prize, named after the Polish president Lech Kaczynski for his contribution to the struggle for freedom, at an event dedicated to the 13th anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy, Sakashvili’s Facebook page reads. The award, intended for the imprisoned ex-president, was received by his mother, Giuli Alasania, while in Poland. The recent Norwegian awarding of Saakashvili for his human rights records irked Georgian authorities, sparking a diplomatic row and disagreement between Georgia and Norway so that Georgian-Polish diplomatic drama might be the next.


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