Monthly Archives: June 2007

07TBILISI1566, RUSSIA TRANSFERS AKHALKALAKI MILITARY BASE TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1566 2007-06-29 13:23 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9643
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1566 1801323
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291323Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6859
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 001566 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: RUSSIA TRANSFERS AKHALKALAKI MILITARY BASE TO 
GEORGIA 
 
REF: TBILISI 992 
 
1.  On June 27 Russia officially handed over its military 
base in Akhalkalaki to Georgia, several days ahead of 
schedule.  Georgian First Deputy Defense Minister Levan 
Nikoleishvili and Russian Commander of the Group of Russian 
Forces in the Transcaucasus Andrei Popov attended the 
handover ceremony and signed the Act of Handover and 
Acceptance.  The closure and transfer of the base, which was 
built by Russia in 1910 and occupied by Russian and Soviet 
forces since that time, began in 2006, following a March 31 
agreement between Georgia and Russia on the withdrawal of the 
remaining Russian forces stationed in Georgia.  (Comment: 
The Georgian Ministry of Defense has not yet made clear its 
plans for the base, though it is unlikely that they will 
station troops there.  End comment). 
 
2.  Russian withdrawal from its base in Batumi, the last 
remaining base on Georgian-government controlled territory, 
also continues ahead of schedule. On June 28, the seventh 
trainload of heavy equipment departed Batumi for Russia.  The 
remaining six trainloads of heavy equipment will be removed 
from Batumi by August 23, 2007.  The remaining troops and 
equipment will begin withdrawal in the spring of 2008, and 
the base will be transferred to Georgia by October 1, 2008. 
The status of the Russian base at Gudauta, in the breakaway 
republic of Abkhazia, remains an issue, and the Georgian 
government has made clear that it will not consider Russia's 
obligations under the 1999 Istanbul Commitments fulfilled 
until Gudauta's status is resolved (reftel). 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1563, SOUTH OSSETIA TENSIONS HIGH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1563 2007-06-29 13:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9638
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1563/01 1801323
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291323Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6852
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 001563 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA & EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV OSCE GG
SUBJECT: SOUTH OSSETIA TENSIONS HIGH 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1368 
 
     B. TBILISI 1120 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4(b)&(d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (SBU) A number of dangerous eruptions in tension have 
recently occurred in South Ossetia, suggesting that we may be 
in for a long, hot summer in the conflict zone.  Georgian 
villagers have squared off with Russian peacekeepers over 
Georgian efforts to improve a road connecting two Georgian 
villages, the South Ossetian de facto authorities are 
continuing to block irrigation canals that normally supply 
Georgian farmers, and the two sides are regularly exchanging 
fire north of Tskhinvali near Tamarasheni.  Fortunately, thus 
far none of the incidents has spiraled into a major 
confrontation, but in this heavily armed environment the 
danger is real.  End Summary. 
 
Flashpoint One: Roads 
--------------------- 
2. (SBU) Following the South Ossetian-initiated violence of 
May 12-13 (ref B), much of which occurred west of Tskhinvali 
around Avnevi, both sides have attempted to build or improve 
roads that would make it possible to reach villages in that 
area without having to go through the other side's territory. 
 First the South Ossetians tried to build a north-south road 
from Khetagurovo to Muguti on May 24.  Armed Georgian forces 
stepped in to stop them, and a tense standoff ensued that 
eventually ended peacefully when the South Ossetians 
withdrew.  Then the Georgians made attempts in June to 
improve the west-east road from Avnevi to Zemo Nikozi, on 
June 12-15 and again on June 27-28.  The Joint Peacekeeping 
Force (JPKF), whose commander argued that the construction 
was a source of tension, deployed to stop both efforts.  The 
JPKF was initially successful, but on June 28, a large number 
of Georgian civilians surrounded JPKF positions, pouring cans 
of paint on the armored vehicles and their occupants, in 
scenes that were subsequently shown on Georgian television. 
According to OSCE, it appears the JPKF decided to withdraw at 
this point, leaving the Georgians in control of the area. 
 
3. (C) OSCE Political Advisor Gantcho Gantchev told us June 
28 that, according to the 1992 dividing line in the conflict, 
the Georgians have the right to undertake road construction 
in the area, while the South Ossetians do not.  (Note: It is 
not clear if this is an official OSCE position; recent OSCE 
written reports on the issue have not made this argument. 
End Note.)  Gantchev noted that unlike the South Ossetians' 
planned road, the Georgian road already exists, but it needs 
improvements in order to be passable in all weather 
conditions.  In fact, the planned paths of the two roads 
cross, meaning there would be no way for both sides to build 
their roads without encountering each other. 
 
Flashpoint Two: Water 
--------------------- 
4. (C) The South Ossetians continue to block irrigation 
canals that transport water to Georgian fields and orchards 
both inside and out of the conflict zone.  Prime Minister 
Noghaideli has twice called the Ambassador and other 
representatives of the international community to argue for 
help, especially to urge the Russians to pressure the de 
facto authorities to re-open the canals.  In a June 25 
conversation, Noghaideli told the Ambassador that the 
governor of Georgia's Shida Kartli region was threatening to 
cut off the drinking water pipeline to Tskhinvali if the 
South Ossetians did not relent on the canals.  The Ambassador 
strongly warned Noghaideli that the Georgians should not do 
this because it would hurt their credibility internationally 
and with the South Ossetian population.  According to OSCE 
officials, on June 29 a group of Georgian civilians blocked 
the Transcaucasian Highway at the JPKF post in Megvrekisi, 
south of Tskhinvali, to protest the closure of the canals. 
 
5. (SBU) The canal closure is a legacy of the May-June water 
crisis in South Ossetia, which left Tskhinvali without 
drinking water for two weeks (ref A).  At the time, the 
Georgians refused to permit South Ossetian repair crews to 
enter the Georgian enclave, and eventually repaired on their 
own the most serious damage to the drinking water pipeline, a 
place where storms had dislodged it from a concrete support 
above the Didi Liakhvi River in Kheiti.  In the meantime the 
South Ossetians turned off the pipeline in Java, above the 
Georgian enclave, as well as the irrigation canals near 
Tskhinvali that flowed south to Georgian-controlled areas. 
 
SIPDIS 
The Georgians completed repairs in Kheiti June 5, and a joint 
team including South Ossetian representatives viewed the 
repairs the same day.  After a delay, the South Ossetians 
re-started the water in Java June 7, and it began flowing 
 
TBILISI 00001563  002 OF 003 
 
 
south through the Georgian enclave to Tskhinvali.  While the 
water flow was sufficient to fill the underground reservoirs 
above Tbilisi -- OSCE officials tell us there is now ample 
running water in Tskhinvali -- it was only 20-30 percent
 of 
the expected volume. 
 
6. (C) Since June 7 the sides have been unable to agree on 
additional inspections of the pipeline, and the South 
Ossetians have not re-opened the irrigation canals.  The 
South Ossetians are insisting on a repeat inspection of the 
Georgian repairs at Kheiti, while the Georgians are calling 
for an inspection of the whole pipeline.  The Georgians have 
told us that in a June 19 meeting in Tskhinvali, State 
Minister for Conflict Resolution Antadze proposed to the 
South Ossetians that two joint teams simultaneously check the 
water flow above and below the Georgian enclaves; if the 
tests showed that water was being lost in the Georgian area, 
the teams could then inspect the whole pipe in the Georgian 
area to find the problem.  The Georgians believe that in fact 
the water is being lost in the separatist area north of the 
Georgian enclave, due to the poor design and maintenance of 
the pipe.  OSCE Deputy Head of Mission Veselin Nikolaev has 
told us that the current stand-off appears to serve the South 
Ossetians' political interest well; if the Georgians use 
their leverage -- by turning off the drinking water -- the 
Georgians will look bad internationally and the de facto 
authorities can tell Tskhinvali residents that 
Georgian-backed leader Dmitry Sanakoyev is to blame for the 
lack of drinking water. 
 
Flashpoint Three: Shootings 
--------------------------- 
7. (C) There has been a series of shootings between the two 
sides north of Tskhinvali over the past week, near the 
Georgian village of Tamarasheni.  At least six people have 
been wounded, four Ossetians and two Georgians.  According to 
press reports mortars and rocket-propelled grenades were used 
(in addition to small arms) but OSCE officials were unable to 
confirm this as of June 29.  Gantchev told us June 29 that 
OSCE was picking up troubling reports of "snipers."  While 
firing across the lines is not uncommon in the conflict zone, 
Gantchev noted that in the past shots were typically unaimed, 
intended more to frighten than to hit targets. 
 
Other Incidents 
--------------- 
8. (C) The South Ossetians have continued to block the road 
north of Tskhinvali into and out of the Georgian enclave at 
Tamarasheni, denying freedom of movement to the local 
population.  The South Ossetians have also reportedly stopped 
Georgian buses in Kukhati, harassing the passengers. 
Gantchev told us that it was in response to this that the 
Georgians set up a new police checkpoint in Prisi (in fact in 
between two villages called Prisi, one controlled by each 
side) and have apparently begun digging trenches and building 
other fortifications to protect the post.  Gantchev said the 
JPKF and the South Ossetians have argued this violates 
existing agreements, but Gantchev added that because this is 
a police post, it could be considered not an "armed 
formation" to which agreements apply. 
 
Comment 
------- 
9. (C) The situation in South Ossetia is volatile and it 
could get out of control -- either due to a conscious 
decision (as happened with the South Ossetian-precipitated 
violence May 12-13) or by accident.  We are urging the 
Georgians to show restraint, and not to be provoked into a 
more serious confrontation.  While the two sides walk along 
the brink of a major clash, they are also trying to insulate 
themselves from the other side's leverage for the longer term 
by building bypass roads, digging wells to obtain independent 
access to water, and thinking about new gas and electric 
lines that would not be vulnerable to interruption.  Of 
course, once either side has an invulnerable road or supply 
of utilities, it no longer has any disincentive to cutting 
off the other side's roads or utilities.  If it is not lost, 
the interconnectedness of these networks is a real incentive 
for the two sides to interact and to build confidence.  The 
water pipeline is a good example; if it could be renovated as 
envisioned in the donors' economic rehabilitation program, 
the result would help people on both sides and tie them 
closer together.  We hope that the two sides will show some 
interest in realizing these opportunities, perhaps at the 
Steering Committee meeting for the donors' program scheduled 
for July 2. 
 
10. (C) A key factor in determining the international 
community's ability to manage crises in South Ossetia is the 
role of the OSCE.  As we go through the process of choosing a 
new Head of Mission, it is post's view that OSCE needs a 
 
TBILISI 00001563  003 OF 003 
 
 
leader who is active and who interprets his/her mandate as 
granting authority to get in the middle of such issues and 
hammer out a solution between the sides. 
 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1562, SANAKOYEV SPEAKS IN BRUSSELS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1562 2007-06-29 09:54 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9366
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1562/01 1800954
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290954Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6850
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001562 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV RS GG
SUBJECT: SANAKOYEV SPEAKS IN BRUSSELS 
 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  On June 26, Dmitry Sanakoyev, head of Georgia's Temporary 
Administration of South Ossetia, addressed the European Parliament 
in Brussels.  Georgian media gave extensive and positive coverage to 
the event, hailing it as the first ever address made in Brussels in 
the Ossetian language.  The separatist regime in South Ossetia 
criticized the speech and reportedly turned off electrical power so 
that residents of Tskhinvali would be unable to watch it on live 
television.  End Summary. 
 
Georgia and Ossetia will come back to Europe 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
2.  Sanakoyev, appearing at the European Parliament as a member of 
the Georgian delegation, started his speech by stressing the 
significance of Europe and its institutions for the Ossetian people, 
as an example of "leading a dignified life, forgetting the problems 
of the past and creating an environment where every person is 
guaranteed a safe, dignified and peaceful existence."  Sanakoyev 
expressed his belief that due to the progress of the past three 
years, Georgia is "returning to Europe, its natural environment," 
and, together with Georgia, so will South Ossetia.  Sanakoyev 
stressed that he was speaking as an ordinary Ossetian who himself 
fought in the conflict and who had personally experienced all the 
hardships that had beset South Ossetia for the past 17 years.  At 
the same time, he said it was absolutely certain that the conflict, 
which occurred due to the faults of the Soviet legacy and grave 
mistakes made by both sides, "should come to an end and become 
history, as a tragic and shameful blight on the centuries-long 
friendship of the Georgian and Ossetian peoples." 
 
Political will creates hope 
--------------------------- 
 
3.  Sanakoyev stressed that a just and peaceful resolution of the 
conflict could not be achieved without restoration of mutual 
confidence and respect between Georgians and Ossetians which, in 
turn, could be achieved only through direct dialogue.  He 
underscored that political will for such a resolution had emerged in 
Georgia and this also creates hope for the final settlement.  In 
addition, such a dialogue requires a conducive environment and 
friends ready to assist in critical situations; and that is why "the 
role of the European Union in confidence building and economic 
rehabilitation is so significant."  Unfortunately, he added, the 
Ossetian people have become hostages of the de facto regime, which 
under the dictation of the "northern neighbor" is "oriented to 
preserve the status quo in South Ossetia." 
 
From a zone of conflict to a zone of tourism 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
4.  Looking into the future, Sanakoyev stressed that "Ossetian 
people have a lot to say to the world," and South Ossetia should 
transform from a "zone of conflict" into a "zone of tourism."  This 
goal should be preceded by joint social, economic and cultural 
projects, but most important is mutual work to specify wide autonomy 
for South Ossetia, and elaboration of guarantees for political 
representation and preservation of cultural identity, which has 
already started."  At the same time, Sanakoyev stressed that while 
working for this common goal, South Ossetia and the central 
government in Tbilisi had different views on a number of issues, and 
under such circumstances the participation of an objective and 
friendly arbiter was essential.  "Europe can be such an arbiter," 
concluded Sanakoyev, calling on European institutions and experts to 
get actively involved in discussions on the status of South Ossetia. 
 
 
Tbilisi hails speech; Tskhinvali turns off the light 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
5.  Tbilisi media, commentators, and politicians of all views gave 
favorable reviews to Sanakoyev's speech, characterizing the fact 
that he addressed the European Parliament a "serious step forward" 
and a "historic" event.  Reaction in the separatist region was 
predictably negative, and according to press reports, the de facto 
government went so far as to turn off electrical power in the 
Tskhinvali district during the speech, so that the population could 
 
SIPDIS 
not watch it on Georgian-sponsored Alania television.  The de facto 
ministry of foreign affairs issued a statement expressing 
"indignation" over the event, which it characterized as part of 
"Georgia's broad-scale campaign to legalize the puppet temporary 
administration." 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6.  The Georgians clearly see Sanakoyev's appearance in Brussels as 
a major step toward greater international recognition of Sanakoyev 
as a legitimate representative of South Ossetia, something they 
believe will also bolster his standing among the South Ossetian 
population.  We do not know if it is indeed having this effect, but 
 
TBILISI 00001562  002 OF 002 
 
 
the reported shutoff of electricity during Sanakoyev's speech 
suggests that the de facto authorities fear just such an outcome. 
 &#x000
A;TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1542, GEORGIA: JUNE 27 UPDATE ON AFRICAN SWINE FEVER

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1542 2007-06-27 13:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7269
OO RUEHLMC
DE RUEHSI #1542/01 1781336
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271336Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6815
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE 4054
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU IMMEDIATE 1852
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 0044
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 8063
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0315
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN IMMEDIATE 2103
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/DTRA CT WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001542 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC, OES/S AND EB/TPP/ABT 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2017 
TAGS: EAGR SENV PGOV TBIO GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: JUNE 27 UPDATE ON AFRICAN SWINE FEVER 
OUTBREAK 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 01364 
 
     B. TBILISI 1329 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary.  As of June 26, over 42,000 pigs have died of 
African Swine Fever (ASF) in Georgia with an additional 4500 
culled.  First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bakur Kvezereli 
confirmed to Econoff the GoG strategy of containment: 
quarantine affected areas, disinfect entrance points to 
ASF-free zones, and cull stray pigs, pigs immediately 
adjacent to affected areas, and surviving pigs of infected 
herds.  GoG officials have not yet decided to cull the entire 
population of pigs - estimated to be over 550,000 before the 
outbreak.  Only six areas have not yet reported infections. 
Post's Defense Threat Reduction Office (DTRO) is providing 
testing kits, although supplies are running short.  Georgia 
is waiting to accept offers of help from other donors until 
after GoG officials - led by Prime Minister Noghaideli - 
decide on a path forward, which will be based on the results 
of an epidemiological investigation.  End Summary. 
 
2. (C) As of June 26, over 42,000 pigs have died of African 
Swine Fever (ASF) in Georgia with an additional 4500 culled. 
An additional 600 pigs are dying from ASF each day - half of 
them culled.  Regional and village officials throughout 
Georgia provide daily updates on the affected pigs to three 
dedicated 24/7 phone hotlines the Ministry of Agriculture 
(MOA) established.  Econoff visited the hotline center, which 
was staffed by five Ministry personnel keeping tallies on the 
affected pigs and areas. 
 
Strategy: Protect uninfected areas 
---------------------------------- 
 
3. (C) First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bakur Kvezereli 
confirmed to Econoff the GoG strategy of containment: 
quarantine affected areas, disinfect entrance points to 
ASF-free zones, and cull stray pigs, pigs immediately 
adjacent to affected areas, and surviving pigs of infected 
herds.  ASF first appeared in western Georgia in May - likely 
from mismanaged waste in Poti port.  It has affected every 
region along the east-west corridor that divides Georgia, and 
is now in the eastern region of Kakheti.  Only six areas have 
not yet reported an outbreak: Adjara, Samskhe-Javakheti, two 
municipalities in Kakheti, Kazbegi, and other extremely 
mountainous regions.  GoG officials have not yet decided to 
cull the entire population of pigs - estimated to be over 
550,000.  Even though the affected geographical area has 
grown larger, the rate of infection has not increased 
significantly.  The MOA is working closely with the Ministry 
of Internal Affairs to limit the movement of pigs and 
infection, but it is not a true quarantine--only the roads 
into ASF-free zones are monitored.  Nothing prevents pigs 
from wandering across the borders elsewhere.  MOA officials 
suspect there might be two different ASF strains in Georgia, 
with one possibly originating from the feed.  At Kvezereli's 
request, Post's DTRO officer agreed to find out if Georgia, 
through its DTRO-sponsored labs, has the capability to test 
for different strains.  He also stressed the importance of 
using the labs' computerized programs in order to track the 
spread of ASF. 
 
Damage control and assistance 
----------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Kvezereli appeared confident that even the most remote 
farmers are aware of the problem, but he admitted in some 
areas, such as Kakheti in eastern Georgia and Guria in 
western Georgia, there is misinformation about how best to 
handle it.  However, some progress is being made.  He said 
that former Minister of Agriculture Mikheil "Mixo" 
Svimonishvili, currently the governor of Guria, is helping 
local farmers understand the severity of the problem, but 
that "one Mixo just isn't enough.  We need more Mixos." 
Ministry officials estimate that upwards of 90 percent of the 
swine population in Guria - where ASF first appeared in early 
May - is affected with ASF.  The high rate of infection in 
Guria coupled with Svimonishvili's efforts have convinced 
local farmers of the severity of the problem, but even in 
Guria there is not yet discussion of widespread culling. 
 
TBILISI 00001542  002 OF 002 
 
 
Kvezereli said farmers in Kakheti do not understand the 
severity of the problem yet, as they have not dealt with it 
for as long as those in Guria.  Kvezereli appeared anxious to 
more thoroughly investigate the spread of ASF and its origin 
in order to better explain the problem to the public. 
 
5. (C) Kvezereli said GEL 300,000 (approximately USD 177,000) 
is earmarked for the regions to use against ASF.  Some donors 
have of
fered to help, but so far only the USG agency DTRO has 
been in a position to provide immediate assistance.  DTRO 
supplied about 2200 reagents to test for ASF, but this is not 
enough to do the mass number of tests required if Georgia 
continues with its current strategy of containment.  The kits 
are being used at a rate of about 20 a day, and only about 
1000 remain.  Post's DTRO officer will investigate the 
possibility of bringing in expert technical assistance to 
help Georgia develop and implement a mid-term strategy.  Once 
the ASF problem passes, Kvezereli said the GoG - per 
Noghaideli's decision - is hopeful the GoG can use the 
ASF-free zones to repopulate pigs by distributing ASF-free 
piglets. 
 
6. (C) Comment.  ASF may be difficult to fully eradicate in 
Georgia.  The government is focusing on preventing the spread 
of the disease into uninfected areas and wants to avoid 
having to eradicate the entire pig population of Georgia. 
Even a total cull of the country's domestic pig population 
would not assure success, because there are many wild swine 
in remote parts of Georgia and ASF reportedly can lie dormant 
for some time in ticks and be transmitted by them.  It 
appears the GoG has a careful plan to deal with the problem 
initially, and a plan to repopulate once the problem passes. 
However, it is unclear what officials will do in the interim 
- where they will get more of the expensive reagents, what to 
do with the mass numbers of pig carcasses, and how they will 
continue the containment strategy for the requisite year to 
show there is no longer a problem.  Post's DTRO office is 
working closely with MOA officials to assist where 
appropriate and when asked, and Post will report on the GoG 
strategy as it develops.  End Comment. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1530, GEORGIAN PROSECUTORS INSTITUTIONALIZE NEW TRIAL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1530 2007-06-26 13:10 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6050
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1530/01 1771310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261310Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6791
INFO RUEAWJA/DOJ WASHDC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 001530 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL, EUR/ACE, EUR/CAC 
DOJ FOR OPDAT (LEHMANN/NEWCOMBE) 
 
E.O.  12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV KCRM KJUS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIAN PROSECUTORS INSTITUTIONALIZE NEW TRIAL 
ADVOCACY SKILLS 
 
 
1.              Summary.  In January 2007, the Department of Justice 
(DOJ) and the Office of Public Prosecution Service (OPP) developed a 
year-long training program, including a cadre of local trainers, a 
core curriculum, explanatory materials and interactive training 
techniques, to ensure that the more than 600 prosecutors throughout 
Georgia have the advocacy skills necessary to successfully prosecute 
cases using the new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) slated for passage 
later this year.  In late 2006, 30 trainers were selected from among 
the best and the brightest at the OPP to receive instruction from 
the CPC drafters and DOJ/OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) Keller 
on the contents of the new CPC, advocacy skills development, and 
effective teaching methods over the course of a year-long CPC "train 
the trainers" program.  Following each monthly installment, the 
trainers have returned to their home offices to conduct similar CPC 
training programs for their colleagues.  Indeed, these 30 trainers 
are and will continue to be critical to a successful and lasting 
shift to the success of this very important CPC implementation 
program.  On June 2, the RLA attended one of these training programs 
in Telavi. The Telavi trainers used the techniques they acquired at 
the "train the trainers" program to convey the CPC friendly form of 
advocacy to the prosecutor trainees.  Georgian prosecutors are 
adapting to this new advocacy form, albeit slowly.  Based on the 
RLA's observations at the Telavi seminar, however, the Georgians 
have a sound start to their transition from a Soviet-style system to 
an adversarial criminal process.  End Summary. 
 
2.              The Georgians' groundbreaking draft CPC, which is 
expected to pass its second reading this summer or fall and come 
into force later this year, will transform the Georgian criminal 
process from a Soviet-style inquisitorial system that focuses on 
building a dossier by gathering written affidavits during pre-trial 
investigations to a Western style in-court adversarial system that 
focuses on obtaining incriminating evidence through witness 
examination before a judge and/or jury.  Shifting the focus from the 
pre-trial dossier to live examination of evidence in court by 
prosecutor, defense, and judge or jury is significant because it 
enhances the transparency and credibility of the criminal process 
and further entrenches a criminal justice system based on the rule 
of law.  While the Georgian public did not participate to a large 
extent in the dossier building process, in-court adversarial 
examinations will allow the public to view pre-trial and trial court 
proceedings and, in the case of jury trials, actually determine for 
itself the strength of the government's case. 
 
---------------------- 
Challenge and Response 
---------------------- 
 
3.              With the goal of arming all Georgian prosecutors 
with the skills necessary to prosecute cases under the new CPC, DOJ 
and the OPP designed a year-long CPC training program to be taught 
primarily by 30 prosecutor-trainers from Tbilisi and the regions. 
DOJ and the OPP will use this "train the trainers" program to 
effectively train more than 600 prosecutors in a relatively short 
period of time. 
Beginning in March, these trainers have traveled to Tbilisi every 
month to spend several days learning not only the substantive 
content of the CPC and effective advocacy skills, but also modern 
interactive instruction techniques (e.g., case studies, mock 
proceedings).  Following these trainer seminars, the prosecutors 
return to their offices and replicate the substantive training for 
their colleagues using interactive teaching methods, such as 
brainstorming and role playing.  By the end of the training program, 
all 30 trainers will have learned how to conduct direct and cross 
examinations, opening statements, and closing arguments. 
Furthermore, they will have honed these skills in a series of mock 
trials.  They also will have developed a number of written 
materials, such as evidence checklists and a compilation of "dos and 
don'ts" for conducting effective direct and cross examinations. 
 
---------------------------- 
Grooming a Cadre of Trainers 
---------------------------- 
 
4.  Transitioning from a Soviet-style inquisitorial system to a 
Western in-court adversarial system is difficult for seasoned 
lawyers who have used the same approach for decades to successfully 
convict criminal defendants.  They must discard well-accepted and 
long relied upon practices and adopt new, untested skills.  For 
example, to the extent that a witness testified in the inquisitorial 
system, conducting cross examination provided the prosecutor with no 
beneficial advantage because he could not use leading questions to 
bring to light a witness's inconsistent statement.  Instead, the 
witness simply regurgitated facts that were previously recited in 
the affidavits collected during the pre-trial stage.  By contrast, 
cross examination using leading questions is central to an in-court 

adversarial system.  Cross examination using leading questions 
allows a prosecutor to highlight not only a witness's inconsistent 
 
TBILISI 00001530  002 OF 003 
 
 
statements, but also his bias in the defendant's favor, statements 
inconsistent with accepted facts, the witness's inability to recall 
key facts, and his characteristic for untruthfulness. 
 
5.  In addition to cross examination skills, the year long "train 
the trainers" program teaches the prosecutors how to conduct direct 
examinations, opening statements, and closing arguments.  These 
skills are necessary to allow the prosecution to paint a picture for 
the finder of fact (i.e., the judge or jury) of what happened and 
why the defendant should be convicted.  For example, direct 
examination using open ended questions (such as "what did you see," 
"where were you," and "describe how you felt") allows a prosecutor 
to persuade the jury using the witness's testimony by eliciting key 
facts during the direct examination.  By contrast, in the 
inquisitorial system the prosecutor has little control over the 
witness because the witness, in response to the prosecutor's 
question "what happened," simply recites a narrative until 
interrupted.  Similarly, the opening statement - - a trial's 
prologue - - outlines the important evidence the prosecution expects 
to introduce during the trial and, more importantly, provides the 
finder of fact with a favorable prism - - otherwise known as a theme 
- - through which to view the evidence.  Finally, the closing 
argument allows the prosecution to explain how the pieces of 
evidence gleaned throughout the trial form a complete picture that 
justifies convicting the defendant.  In order to practice these 
skills and develop confidence with them, the prosecutors practice 
them in a series of mock trials. The mock trials are an effective 
interactive teaching tool because even though the prosecutors 
conceptually grasp the new skills, they struggle with trusting them 
since the skills are untested in Georgia.  Consequently, "in the 
heat of battle" the prosecutors want to revert to their old habits. 
The mock trials help the prosecutors become more comfortable with 
the new skills and learn to trust them.  Future trainings will 
readily demonstrate to the prosecutors that they need to rely on 
these new skills because they will need to apply them in preparing 
cases for trial. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Developing Trial Advocacy Skills: 
Successes and Challenges in the Field 
------------------------------------- 
 
6. In May, the trainers learned how to conduct opening statements. 
They conducted their field trainings during the June 1-2 weekend. 
RLA Keller traveled to Telavi, Georgia to examine the prosecutors' 
progress and to assess the trainers' efforts to teach the necessary 
trial advocacy skills.  Generally, the prosecutor instructors 
replicated the contents of their own trainers' seminar, providing 
the prosecutors with the necessary information and an opportunity to 
practice the trial advocacy skills in a moot court setting. However, 
the seasoned prosecutor trainees struggled with the new skills. 
 
7. The prosecutors quickly grasped the opening statement concepts. 
They understood the need to highlight for the finder of fact key 
witness testimony, to note a witness's potential bias, and to 
provide the finder of fact with a prism through which to view the 
evidence.  However, the prosecutors struggled, to some extent, to 
apply the new adversarial skills during the mock trials.  The 
trainees found cross examination using leading questions to be the 
most fascinating part of the training.  Like the proverbial kid in a 
candy store, they sensed that they could exploit this new skill to 
present their cases more effectively.  However, they found this new 
skill's application to be challenging.  For example, when cross 
examining the defendant's witness, they failed to use leading 
questions that incorporate a single fact for the witness to confirm 
or deny, i.e., you are the defendant's girlfriend.  Such a question 
requires the witness to simply answer "yes" or "no."  A "yes" answer 
provides the prosecutor with ammunition to argue during closing 
argument that the witness is biased in the defendant's favor and 
should not be believed.  Instead, the prosecutor asked the ultimate 
question, i.e., you are biased in the defendant's favor. 
Predictably, the witness said "no."  The prosecutor's question 
deprived him of the fact - - that the witness is the defendant's 
girlfriend - - necessary to argue the witness's bias in closing 
argument.  When the trainer explained how to ask the questions 
differently, the trainees understood the change - - at least 
conceptually. 
 
8. Future trainings will provide the trainees with additional 
opportunities to practice the new trial advocacy skills, including 
cross examination.  Furthermore, they will teach the prosecutors how 
to use their new found skills to examine expert witness, such as 
doctors or forensics experts, and cooperating witnesses who, because 
of their criminal past, have information that incriminates a 
defendant, but are themselves tainted because of their criminal 
conduct.  Moreover, future seminars will teach the prosecutors how 
to use these trial advocacy skills to dissect a case and prepare it 
for trial.  At this stage, however, the prosecutors understand that 
 
TBILISI 00001530  003 OF 003 
 
 
they need to abandon their old notions of trial work and master the 
new skills necessary to successfully prosecute cases under the CPC. 
Additional practice is necessary, but the DOJ/OPP "train the 
trainers" model is successfully conveying the in-court adversarial 
skills to the prosecutors one step at a time. 
 
-------------------------------- 
Comment: Ensuring Lasting Change 
-------------------------------- 
 
9.   Comment:  The CPC shifts prosecutions in Georgia from a 
dossier-based Soviet-style inquisitorial system to an in-court, 
adversarial system.  However, this change must be institutionalized. 
 The DOJ/OPP CPC training program will ensure that Georgia's new CPC 
will be a lasting change.  The CPC "train the trainers" approach has 
established a group of Georgian expert trainers with good trial 
advocacy skills that will only get better over the course of the 
training program and as they continue to try cases using the new 
Criminal Procedure Code. Additionally, these CPC trainers provide 
the OPP's nascent in-service continuing legal education program with 
its first core group of instructors armed with state of the art 
teaching techniques. Further, a comprehensive set of written 
training materials and interactive exercises have been created to 
train Georgia's current and future prosecutors on how to effectively 
present criminal cases in court under this new criminal procedure 
regime.  These materials, in turn, may easily be revised for use in 
practical seminars addressing how to work criminal cases using 
Georgia's new legislation in the human trafficking, fraud, 
corruption and or
ganized crime areas. All of the foregoing will 
guarantee the long-term sustainability of the CPC and other 
important criminal justice reforms. End Comment. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1528, MCC DANILOVICH MEETS MINORITY LEADERS IN ETHNIC

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1528 2007-06-26 12:45 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6014
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1528/01 1771245
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 261245Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6788
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001528 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECON EAID GG
SUBJECT: MCC DANILOVICH MEETS MINORITY LEADERS IN ETHNIC 
ARMENIAN REGION 
 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  On June 14, Millennium Challenge Corporation 
(MCC) President John Danilovich, accompanied by Ambassador 
Tefft and MCC Country Director Colin Buckley, traveled to the 
ethnic Armenian area of Samtskhe-Javakheti to meet members of 
the local government and civil society.  This isolated and 
impoverished region will benefit from MCC's planned 
construction of a road which will link its main city, 
Akalkalaki, to Tbilisi and provide a way in which farmers can 
transport local agricultural products to markets to the 
capital.  The biggest concern from residents was whether the 
road contractor would hire local workers.  They also asked 
how to obtain funding for other needed projects including 
improving local roads and building local factories. 
Danilovich and Buckley responded that contractors make 
rational decisions based on factors such as cost and skill 
and encouraged residents to complete applications to compete 
for funds from the MCC compact.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) On June 14, MCC President John Danilovich, accompanied 
by Ambassador Tefft, MCC Country Director Colin Buckley and 
Millennium Challenge Georgia Director Lasha Shanidze, 
traveled to the ethnic minority region of Samtskhe-Javakheti 
to meet members of local government and civil society.  This 
isolated and impoverished region of Georgia will benefit from 
MCC's planned construction of a new road which will link its 
main city, Akalkalaki, to Tbilisi and thereby provide a way 
in which farmers can transport highly-valued local 
agricultural products, including cheese and potatoes, to 
larger markets in the capital.  Danilovich explained that the 
MCC program is structured not as an American program to solve 
Georgian problems but as a Georgian program that allows 
Georgians to identify and solve their own problems. 
 
3. (C)  Citing high unemployment as the region's greatest 
challenge, all residents expressed concern over whether the 
road contractor would hire local workers.  They argued that 
unemployment levels were exacerbated this year by the Russian 
bans which suspended visa issuance and cut transportation 
links, resulting in 8-9,000 more unemployed from seasonal 
workers who were unable to travel to Russia.  Hamlet 
Mousesian, the Parliamentarian representing the region argued 
that the region contained skilled workers and said that he 
had met with Minister of Education Lomaia to arrange for any 
professional courses that local workers might need to 
increase or improve those skills.  He noted also that local 
workers would be cheaper than those from outside Georgia and 
expressed concern about the political implications in an 
ethnic Armenian region of bringing ethnic Turks (as the 
contractor is expected to be) to work on the road.  Other 
questions were about the start date of construction and 
potential benefits of the road. 
 
4. (C) Buckley responded that although the U.S. cannot 
require contractors to employ locals, contractors make 
rational decisions based on skill and cost.  He noted that 
the arguments made by the Council represented good reasons to 
hire locally and added that other projects funded by MCC, 
employed locals for those reasons.  Buckley also outlined 
MCC's view of benefits of the road.  In the short term, the 
contractor would need local assistance including housing, 
food and other services in addition to the possible benefit 
of local employment.  MCC believes that the long-term 
benefits of the road will be profound as it will make it 
easier to transport goods to markets in Tbilisi and the 
region.  Although he could not put a start date on 
construction, he noted that the road would be complete by the 
end of the MCC compact in 2011.  Shanidze said that bids are 
now being considered and estimated that MCG would know the 
start date of construction following the conclusion of the 
tendering process at the end of July. 
 
5. (C) Other issues from residents included requests to 
improve local roads as well as open dairy farms, cheese 
processing plants and sugar mills which could both take 
advantage of the regions highly-valued agricultural products 
and provide employment for the population.  Danilovich 
responded that the region had been awarded two MCC 
Agricultural Development Assistance grants for such purposes 
and encouraged individuals to submit applications for funding 
of specific projects to MCC.  Shanidze said that MCG is 
planning to place a liaison in Akalkalaki and Ninotsminda, in 
addition to its office in Akhaltsikhe, in order to answer 
questions and help individuals fill out applications. 
Buckley encouraged resident also to consider MCG's public 
outreach office in Tbilisi as an informational resource. 
 
6. (C) COMMENT:  The visit of Danilovich and the Ambassador 
was warmly welcomed by the local community, which continues 
 
TBILISI 00001528  002 OF 002 
 &#x00
0A; 
to suffer high unemployment as a result of the closure of the 
Russian base this year.  This is the biggest issue on their 
agenda.  Interestingly, neither in the town hall meeting nor 
in the follow-on lunch did anyone raise any concerns related 
to the minority population and its relationship to Tbilisi. 
One of the most difficult challenges to overcome, however, a 
lack of initiative and innovation which is a Soviet legacy in 
this region.  What the population would prefer is for the 
Government to build factories in which the residents could 
work.  To overcome this passivity, a significant amount of 
education - including especially from people from the 
community itself - is needed to encourage people to take 
advantage of the resources that are available.  MCG is 
working on this and we will continue to as well.  End comment. 
 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1504, UN DOWNBEAT ON INCREASING ASSISTANCE TO ABKHAZIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1504 2007-06-21 13:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1956
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1504/01 1721317
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211317Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6759
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001504 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON PHUM PREF EAID GG
SUBJECT: UN DOWNBEAT ON INCREASING ASSISTANCE TO ABKHAZIA 
 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  In a June 11 meeting with USAID 
representatives, UN Special Representative of the Secretary 
General (SRSG) for Georgia Jean Arnault was downbeat on the 
prospect of increasing assistance to Abkhazia.  He said that 
the current atmosphere is as bad as it has been since he 
arrived some eight months ago.  Arnault congratulated USAID 
for being able to implement programs "under the radar" which 
neither side views as threatening.  He encouraged the U.S. to 
continue programming which brings Abkhaz and Georgians 
together but did not think that a needs assessment study was 
necessary in order to move ahead with is a wealth of needs, 
especially in Gali.  In a separate meeting with Poloff on 
June 8, Saakashvili insider Giga Bokeria was deeply skeptical 
of increasing assistance to the Abkhaz as a way to promote 
conflict resolution.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) On June 11, USAID Mission Director Bob Wilson, 
accompanied by Deputy Director Andrea Yates, Program Officer 
Craig Hart and Poloff, met SRSG Jean Arnault to discuss ideas 
for increasing assistance to Abkhazia.  Wilson said that the 
USG has two million USD to program on confidence building 
measures in Abkhazia.  The U.S. would like to use it to 
increase the interdependency between the Abkhaz and Georgians 
but avoid anything that supports the de facto authorities. 
He cited ideas including enhancing contact between Abkhaz and 
Georgians, improving the information flow about Georgia in 
Abkhazia, opening American Corners, and increasing trade 
between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia. 
 
3. (C) Arnault responded that the current atmosphere in 
Abkhazia is as bad as it has been since he arrived some eight 
months ago.  Some staff were even telling him that the 
situation has not been this bad since conflict broke out in 
1998.  He congratulated USAID for being successful in 
conducting programs "under the radar" which neither sides 
views as threatening.  Still, areas in which the Georgians 
and Abkhaz used to be open are now closed.  For example, the 
Georgians refused to allow UN to train police in Abkhazia 
unless the training is joint with Georgians.  Similarly, the 
Georgians now believe the EC program for infrastructure 
development undermines their political agenda.  Even 
Conciliation Resources, he said, had run into trouble with 
the Georgians for a perceived bias toward the Abkhaz.  He did 
not believe there was much flexibility left to do more than 
what is being done currently. 
 
4. (C) He said the UN would continue trying to do things that 
do not set off alarm bells including continuing humanitarian 
work as well as police and human rights work with a focus on 
the ethnically Georgian Gali region.  Specifically, Arnault 
said the UN hoped to see what could be done with the 
newly-established Human Rights Center in Gali.  He hoped the 
U.S. might also provide assistance there.  Despite some 
concern from Georgians that non-governmental organizations in 
Abkhazia are not neutral, he believed that the Center could 
help to bring human rights abuses under control.  He stressed 
the importance of informal contacts between Georgians and 
Abkhaz as an area of potential continued U.S. assistance 
focus, especially in the current environment where formal 
contact is not taking place.  He thought that increasing 
access to outside sources of information, such as the opening 
of American corners, would be welcome. 
 
5. (C) When asked whether the assistance example of the South 
Ossetia Economic Rehabilitation Program -- undertaking a 
needs assessment followed by international pledges of support 
and supervised implementation -- could apply to Abkhazia, 
Arnault said he is doubtful that a joint needs assessment, 
which would require cooperation from the sides, could take 
place now.  He said that the Abkhaz were approaching 
assistance as a zero-sum game and the Georgians were not 
seeing assistance in their political interests.  Assistance 
has become politicized, in part by the way that the 
international community has chosen to sell it:  as a way to 
move forward with the political process.  The EC program, he 
said, has been in place for over two years and the political 
process remains stalled.  As a result, the Georgians are 
reconsidering their support for such programs. 
 
6. (C) Still, Arnault thought that attempting to continue, 
and increase assistance if possible, remains a good idea from 
an humanitarian and a political perspective.  He concluded 
that donors do not have to undertake the political risk (or 
the time) to conduct a needs assessment to know what to do. 
There is a wealth of needs in the Gali region especially.  A 
2004 needs assessment concluded that there would be an 
humanitarian crisis if nothing i
s done immediately to fix the 
infrastructure there.  Nothing has been done since that time. 
 He said the trick is trying to undertake programs that are 
 
TBILISI 00001504  002 OF 002 
 
 
perceived to be in the interests of both sides.  He noted 
that the U.S. perhaps more than any other country has been 
able to stay clear of problems with one of the sides, which 
every other donor has seemed to encounter. 
 
7. (C) When asked by Poloff about increasing assistance to 
Abkhazia in a separate meeting on June 8, key Parliamentarian 
(and Saakashvili insider) Giga Bokeria responded emotionally 
with a question:  what about assistance for the more than 
200,000 internally displaced persons driven out of Abkhazia? 
When asked about reported concerns of the Georgian Government 
with the EC assistance program, Bokeria said simply that the 
program is reinforcing the de facto regime.  He added that 
other programs, including Conciliation Resources, simply 
bring together the same people with immovable views and is 
not helping resolve the conflict.  He suggested continuing 
programs which bring together Abkhaz and Georgian 
opinion-makers, such as teachers and youth.  He was deeply 
skeptical about the overall usefulness of economic assistance 
to Abkhazia as a way to promote conflict resolution. 
 
8. (C) COMMENT:  These meetings reflect the challenge of 
assistance to Abkhazia.  Unlike South Ossetia, where the 
communities are interdependent because of their proximity, 
the ethnic Georgians of Gali and the ethnic Abkhaz (and 
Armenians) in the north live essentially independent lives. 
Arnault's analysis is correct:  part of the reason the 
Georgians have lost confidence in assistance programs in 
Abkhazia is that they have not seen the programs advance the 
political process as they claim to do.  If anything, 
positions are more rigid than they were in 2005, when the EC 
launched its four million Euro program with such fanfare. 
The EC's ham-handed approach in dealing with the Georgians on 
assistance to Abkhazia has not helped the situation.  In 
addition, the international aid workers, who are concentrated 
in the Abkhaz areas of Abkhazia, tend to view the situation 
as a humanitarian one for the Abkhaz, while the Georgian 
IDPs, spread across Georgia, remain invisible.  As a result, 
these international workers may tend to adopt a view more 
sympathetic to Abkhaz positions.  We believe that any 
successful assistance program in Abkhazia requires careful 
coordination with the Georgian Government, key members of 
whom remain skeptical that such programs are helping to 
resolve the conflict within Georgia's internationally 
recognized borders -- their primary goal.  End comment. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1479, JUDICIAL REFORM: MOVING FORWARD

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If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07TBILISI1479.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1479 2007-06-19 13:56 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9552
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1479/01 1701356
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191356Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6727
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001479 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: JUDICIAL REFORM:  MOVING FORWARD 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1242 
 
     B. TBILISI 281 
     C. TBILISI 284 
     D. TBILISI 1299 
     E. TBILISI 767 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY:  Georgian officials admit privately that 
judicial reform was not high on the list of reform projects 
immediately following the Rose Revolution.  It was deemed too 
hard to accomplish quickly, and as a result, was slow to get 
started.  International pressure, however, has moved this 
crucial area to the forefront.  On June 8, Deputy Chairman of 
the Parliamentary Legal Committee (and Saakashvili insider) 
Giga Bokeria confirmed to Poloff that a draft law banning ex 
parte communications was introduced in Parliament the week of 
June 4.  He expects it to pass this year as part of a 
judicial reform package that will also repeal Soviet-era laws 
which provided criminal and administrative sanctions against 
judges for making an "incorrect decision."  In addition, both 
Bokeria and Chief of the Tbilisi Appeals Court Eka 
Tkeshelashvili provided additional details on the Irakli 
Batiashvili case (reftel A).  He was recently convicted for 
providing assistance to rebel warlord Emzar Kvitsiani.  They 
claimed that his case has been carried out in accordance to 
Georgian law.  End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
BAN ON EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS INTRODUCED IN PARLIAMENT 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
2. (C)  Georgian officials admit privately that judicial 
reform was not high on the list of reform projects 
immediately following the Rose Revolution in 2003.  Although 
there was some internal debate, those supporting immediate 
reform of the judiciary lost to those supporting prioritizing 
reform of the patrol police, educational system, and fighting 
corruption.  As a result, this important reform was slow to 
get started.  Still, starting last year, the Government began 
a comprehensive effort to reform the judiciary to increase 
its independence (reftels B and C).  The biggest change was 
the constitutional amendment passed at the end of 2006 that 
removed the President from the High Council of Justice, the 
judicial disciplinary body.  Other reforms included: 
prosecuting corrupt judges, improving the court system's 
efficiency, and introducing jury trial legislation. 
 
3. (C) Still, progress on some key issues lagged, including 
an ex parte communications ban (reftel D).  After pressure 
from the Embassy, Department and international officials, 
however, the Georgians now understand the importance of 
undertaking concrete judicial reforms expeditiously to 
increase the independence of the judiciary.  On June 8, 
Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee Giga 
Bokeria said that the draft law barring ex parte 
communications was introduced in Parliament the week of June 
4.  It will include sanctions on judges, lawyers and third 
parties who violate the law.  He expects it to pass this year 
as part of a judicial reform package that will also repeal 
Soviet-era laws that punished judges, both criminally and 
administratively, for making an "incorrect ruling."  Removing 
the threat of sanctions against judges for their decisions 
should, we believe, increase judicial independence. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
MAGISTRATE SYSTEM, HIGH SCHOOL OF JUSTICE ON TRACK 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
4. (C) In a separate meeting on June 5, Eka Tkeshelashvili, 
Chief of the Tbilisi Court of Appeals, confirmed to Poloff 
that the magistrate system was on track to improve court 
efficiency and administration of justice.  She clarified, 
however, while magistrates could determine whether an 
individual should e held in pre-trial detention or released 
on bail, they still lack authority to dispose of criminal 
matters.  Thus, while the number of people detained in 
pre-trial detention pending release may be diminished, the 
time necessary to resolve the criminal matter may not be 
reduced.  Similarly, she confirmed that the High School of 
Justice had completed its curriculum for training new judges 
(reftel E).  It is now under review with the High Council of 
Justice, of which she is a member.  She said the curriculum 
was well done and believed it would be ready by October, when 
the High School would accept its first group of judges. 
 
------------------------------- 
MORE DETAIL ON BATIASHVILI CASE 
------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) Tkeshelashvili also responded to questions about the 
 
TBILISI 00001479  002 OF 002 
 
 
trial of Irakli Batiashvili, who was recently convicted for 
providing assistance to rebel warlord Emzar Kvitsiani (reftel 
A).  When asked why the judge and the prosecutor - according 
to press reporting - had not listened to the primary evidence 
during the trial, she said that under current Georgian law, 
neith
er the judge nor the lawyer are required to listen to 
primary evidence.  She noted, however, that she was not 
familiar with the details of the case.  Tkeshelashvili said 
the new Criminal Procedure Code and other reforms will 
require a more rigid evidential review.  (Note:  When asked 
about this on June 8, Bokeria claimed that the tapes were 
played in court and heard by both the judge and the lawyers. 
He offered to check and confirmed this again the next day 
after consulting with the Ministry of Justice.  End note.) 
 
6. (C) When asked why the judge did not explain of the 
verdict, Tkeshelashvili said that Georgian law does not 
require a judge to explain the ruling when entering a 
judgment.  Instead, judges have fourteen days to draft a 
publicly available explanation.  Judges routinely do not 
provide explanations when entering a judgment for the Court 
of First Instance in the interests of time and according to 
this rule.  Tkeshelashvili noted that the Court of Appeals is 
building a website to disseminate the explanations more 
widely.  Ultimately, a similar website will be created for 
the Court of First Instance. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
7. (C) Comment.  There is no doubt still a long way to go 
before Georgia has an independent judiciary, but these steps 
are encouraging indicators that the Georgians have both 
received our message and are starting to move in the right 
direction.  Indeed, we heard that President Saakashvili 
canceled a planned trip to the U.S. by Bokeria so that 
Bokeria could get the draft law on ex parte communication 
introduced into Parliament.  On the Batiashvili case, 
although this information from Government and Parliament 
sources indicates that the case was tried in accordance to 
Georgian law, it is impossible for us to determine, as the 
opposition claim, that the evidence against him did not merit 
the ruling.  We will continue to follow the case.  Upon our 
request, Deputy Prosecutor General Nona Tsotsoria said she 
would ensure we received a copy of the explanation of 
verdict.  End comment. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1477, OSCE AMBASSADORS GROUP UPBEAT ON ELECTION REFORMS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1477 2007-06-19 13:03 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9491
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1477/01 1701303
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191303Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6723
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001477 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2017 
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: OSCE AMBASSADORS GROUP UPBEAT ON ELECTION REFORMS 
 
REF: TBILISI 1036 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (B) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: During a June 18 meeting, the OSCE 
Ambassadors Group on Elections offered a glowing report on 
GOG efforts to implement suggestions delivered to Speaker 
Burjanadze and MP Giga Bokeria on May 2 (reftel).  Council of 
Europe (COE) Ambassador Igor Gaon said there has been "good 
progress" in clarifying the voters' list, building the 
capacity of election administration at all levels, amending 
election legislation, ensuring elections are set well in 
advance, and reaching out to ethnic minorities.  He said the 
amended election law will be forwarded to the COE's Venice 
Commission for review in July.  The Ambassadors agreed to 
request a meeting with President Saakashvili in September -- 
once the Venice Commission had completed its review -- to 
discuss what remains to be done to ensure the elections are 
free, fair, and inclusive.  In the meantime, the group agreed 
to continue working with the CEC and to reach out to the 
Parliamentary working group on elections, a body comprised of 
ruling party and opposition MPs as well as NGOs, with an eye 
toward resolving outstanding election issues before January 
2008.  End Summary. 
 
------------------------------ 
A Message Heard Loud And Clear 
------------------------------ 
 
2. (C) During a June 18 meeting, the OSCE Ambassadors Group 
on Elections offered a glowing report on GOG efforts to meet 
the suggestions delivered to Speaker Burjanadze and MP Giga 
Bokeria on May 2 (reftel).  Citing increased motivation and a 
new willingness to cooperate at the CEC, Council of Europe 
(COE) Ambassador Igor Gaon said that the Group's message had 
clearly been heard.  A European advisor managing an 
assistance project at the CEC agreed, adding that the CEC 
Chair and his staff have begun to show "real energy" in 
implementing the groups suggested reforms. 
 
----------------------- 
Progress on Every Point 
----------------------- 
 
3. (C) Gaon said the CEC would undertake a nation-wide 
door-to-door campaign, with the participation of opposition 
parties, to clarify the voters' list in September.  He added 
that this was a joint effort supported by the COE and GOG and 
that the final results would be audited by a local NGO, the 
International Society for Free Elections and Democracy 
(ISFED), in cooperation with the CEC.  On election 
administration, Gaon praised increased cooperation by the CEC 
with NGOs and opposition groups on an Action Plan that would 
be completed by July. 
 
4. (C) Gaon also cited progress on amendments to election 
legislation, and was hopeful that the Parliament will lower 
the threshold for garnering party-list representation in the 
legislature from 7% to 5% of the national vote.  he was also 
optimistic that the Parliament would move the announcement of 
the date for elections from 60 days to 90 days before 
election day.  He added that all changes to the election 
legislation must be completed by January 2008.  He said the 
revised voter's list and other election-related documents 
will be distributed by the CEC in Russian, Armenian, and 
Azeri to ensure that ethnic minorities are properly informed 
of developments. 
 
---------- 
Next Steps 
---------- 
 
5. (C) Gaon said the Parliament was working at full-speed to 
finish amendments to the election legislation which they will 
submit to the COE's Venice Commission for formal review.  The 
Commission will complete their review and forward any 
proposed changes to the GOG in September.  The Ambassadors 
agreed to wait to request a meeting with President 
Saakashvili until the Venice Commission's findings have been 
published in September, in order to discuss what remains to 
be done to ensure free, fair, and inclusive elections. 
 
6. (C) In the meantime, the group agreed to continue working 
with the CEC to improve their implementation of reforms, 
public outreach strategy, and to ensure they remain on 
schedule.  Gaon added that the group needs to work with the 
CEC Chair, Guram Chalagashvili, to ensure he "remains 
transparent."  Gaon added humorously that the CEC had just 
addressed a serious conflict of interest concern by replacing 
Chalagashvili's mother-in-law as CEC finance manager with 
someone who is not a family relation, a move that not only 
pleased observers, but "also made Guram very happy!"  The 
group also agreed to reach out to the Parliamentary Working 
 
TBILISI 00001477  002 OF 002 
 
 
Group on Elections -- a body comprised of ruling party and 
opposition MPs as well as NGOs -- with an eye toward 
resolving outstanding election issues before January 2008. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
7. (C) Comment: This 180 degree turn-around on the part of 
the CEC and the other efforts underway in Parliament are good 
news for Georgia's upcoming elections.
 It also offers more 
evidence that the GOG will respond quickly and convincingly 
when approached by representatives of the international 
community who share a common goal and offer specific, 
concrete recommendations.  End Comment. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1476, FREEDOM HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS GEORGIAN PROGRESS ON

WikiLeaks Link

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Discussing cables
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1476 2007-06-19 12:58 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9477
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1476 1701258
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191258Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6722
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 001476 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KDEM GG
SUBJECT: FREEDOM HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS GEORGIAN PROGRESS ON 
DEMOCRATIC REFORMS 
 
 
1. The 2007 Nations in Transit report released this week by 
Freedom House highlighted significant progress by Georgia in 
consolidating democratic reforms.  Georgia received a 
"Democracy Score" of 4.68, an improvement from 4.86 in 2006 
(Note: Nations in Transit ratings are based on a 1 to 7 
scale, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic 
development and 7 the lowest. End Note). This score -- an 80 
percent increase in the gains from 2006 -- underlines 
advances by the GOG in multiple areas of democratic reform. 
 
2. Freedom House praised the ongoing effort toward 
eliminating electoral fraud as well as legislation adopted 
before local elections in October 2006 to create a more level 
playing field for all political parties.  The report also 
applauded the efforts of the government to protect media 
freedoms, particularly in the regions.  In addition, Freedom 
House lauded the steps taken by the GOG to foster the 
development of functional and independent local government 
institutions.  The most significant improvement highlighted 
by the report is in the area of anti-corruption, where the 
GOG's tough reforms for the public sector are having a 
sustained positive effect. 
 
3. The aggregate findings of the 2007 Nations in Transit 
report reflect the evolution of democratic institutions, as 
well as the rule of law firmly taking root in Georgia.  To 
advance the broad agenda of democratic reforms further, 
Freedom House calls on the GOG to strengthen national 
governance and increase the independence of the judiciary. 
TEFFT

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