Monthly Archives: October 2007

07TBILISI2675, GEORGIA WILL SUPPORT DAVID WALKER FOR UN IAAC

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2675 2007-10-29 11:53 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #2675 3021153
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291153Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8023
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 4607

UNCLAS TBILISI 002675 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR IO/MPR/SC AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL AORC UNGA UNGA UN GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA WILL SUPPORT DAVID WALKER FOR UN IAAC 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 149678 
 
     B. TBILISI 2661 
 
Per reftel A, Poloff followed up with Merab Manjgaladze, 
Director of the UN Division at the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs to clarify Georgia's position on Mr. Walker's 
candidacy.  Manjgaladze confirmed that Georgia did not have 
any prior obligations to support either Spain or Switzerland 
for the WEOG seat on the UN Independent Audit Advisory 
Committee, and will support Mr. Walker. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI2664, GEORGIA BI-WEEKLY UPDATE OCTOBER 26

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2664 2007-10-26 12:16 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0468
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2664/01 2991216
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261216Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8009
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002664 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ECON GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA BI-WEEKLY UPDATE OCTOBER 26 
 
1. This cable contains current items of political, 
economic, and social interest concerning Georgia during the 
weeks of October 13-26. 
 
Deputy Governor Resigns, Levels Charges 
--------------------------------------- 
2. Deputy Governor of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region Beso Sabashvili 
announced his resignation October 25 in a press conference at the 
headquarters of the opposition Labor Party.  Sabashvili blasted the 
government for corruption, charging specifically that two posh 
villas under construction in the village of Choportia belong to 
President Saakashvili's uncle Temur Alasania and to Saakashvili's 
in-laws, the parents of First Lady Sandra Roelofs.  Sabashvili 
displayed photos of the villas and claimed that the construction was 
taking place illegally within the preserved territory from where the 
Tbilisi population gets its potable water supply.  Sabashvili also 
alleged that the construction is financed from the state budget and 
is carried out by a government agency.  Members of the Labor Party 
supported Sabashvili and declared that if any "any damage was 
inflicted" upon Sabashvili or his family members after his 
statement, the entire responsibility would be placed personally on 
Saakashvili. 
 
Farmers Complain about Grape Prices 
----------------------------------- 
3. Georgian agriculture authorities have reported a record harvest 
of grapes this year.  However, winegrowers all over Georgia were 
frustrated with the falling price of grapes offered to them by wine 
producers.  The abundant supply of grapes, coupled with the 
continued loss of the Russian export market, prompted buyers to cut 
grape prices in half.  In the Racha region in western Georgia, which 
is famous for an expensive variety of grapes used for producing 
semi-sweet and dry red wine, the number of wine producers accepting 
grapes went down from seventeen to three and the price offered per 
kilogram from GEL 2 to 1.5 (around 92 cents).  In the Kakheti region 
of wastern Georgia, which is the main winegrowing area, farmers 
could collect as little as 40 tetri (25 cents) per kilogram, if they 
could find a buyer at all.  Some of them made a public demonstration 
of chopping down grape vines, to replace them with other more 
profitable agricultural plants.  The grape harvest has become part 
of a larger political standoff between the authorities and the 
opposition, with the latter accusing the government of failing to 
provide adequate measures to help winegrowers suffering from the 
Russian embargo. 
 
Inflation Raises Concern 
------------------------ 
4. According to the Statistics Department, consumer prices for food 
have risen by 6.23 percent within a month (September 20 - October 
18).  The price increase was particularly notable, in some cases up 
to 50 percent, for essential food products, such as oil, salt, 
sugar, and wheat flour.  The media is speculating that an increase 
in bread prices may be in the offing, and emphasizing the negative 
impact it would have on vulnerable social groups.  Twelve-month 
inflation was officially 9 percent at the end of September 2007. 
President Saakashvili publicly pinned blame for price increases on 
importers of consumer goods, who he thinks have monopolized the 
market and boosted prices artificially.  He tasked the Interior 
Ministry to probe into such monopolies. 
 
Cooperation with IMF Wrapping Up 
-------------------------------- 
5. The Georgian government is not going to continue cooperation with 
IMF, Kakha Bendukidze, State Minister in Economic Reforms, said 
after a government meeting on October 25.  Bendukidze noted that IMF 
will stay in Georgia for one year after completing the Poverty 
Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) program.   He added that the 
Fund's mission will visit Georgia next week.  The National Bank of 
Georgia received a total of USD 149.4 million under terms of the 
PRGF, which was approved in June 2004.  The IMF offered the Georgian 
government three options for cooperation after ending of this 
program -- continuing PRGF, the so-called annual stand-by program, 
and supporting policy instrument. 
 
Bidders for Port and Free Economic Zone in Poti 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
6. On October 17, Minister of Economic Development Giorgi Arveladze 
announced that eleven companies will compete in the tender for 
concession for 49 years of the Black Sea port of Poti and a new Free 
Economic Zone adjacent to the port.  The following companies are 
participating in the tender: RAK Investment Authority (UAE), ZIM 
PORTS (Israel), International Container Terminal Services 
(Philippines), D P and Jafza (UAE), a consortium established with 
coordination of the Turkish Exporters' Union (Turkey), ASHTROM 
International Silk Road Group (Israel), CMA CGM (France), Mark 
Worldwide (Korea), Hamburger Hafen - Und Logistic Aktiengesellschaft 
(Germany), Hutchison Westports (Great Britain), and ZER 
International Holding (Turkey).  The deadline for submission of 
proposals was October 15.  According to Ar
veladze, priority will be 
given to the company that presents the best proposal for development 
and operation of the port and the economic zone.  The winner will be 
announced two weeks after the deadline. 
 
 
TBILISI 00002664  002 OF 002 
 
 
Mayor of Tbilisi Shares Plans with AmCham 
----------------------------------------- 
7. Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava, the key-note speaker at an 
American Chamber of Commerce Roundtable on October 24, outlined the 
city's draft development plan for the next 20 years, and identified 
the key priorities of the municipality as: tourism, education, and 
the financial sector.  Also, Ugulava said his office was working to 
develop city utilities and infrastructure, including water, sewage, 
electricity and gas, for multiple new buildings and districts that 
are under construction.  To improve traffic in the city, the Mayor's 
Office plans to privatize public transportation, including buses and 
the subway, and to announce a tender for a long-term concession for 
parking and electronic ticketing.  The Mayor's office is also 
looking to attract a private investor for waste management and water 
supplies.  Ugulava noted the ongoing construction of a new rail link 
between the airport and the city center, a USD 100-150 million 
project designed by the Turkish company Nurol, that he said would 
ease traffic congestion. 
 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI2663, GEORGIA TACKLES CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2663 2007-10-26 12:04 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0438
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2663/01 2991204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261204Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8005
INFO RUEAWJA/DOJ WASHDC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 TBILISI 002663 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE, EUR/ACE, EUR/CAC 
DOJ FOR OPDAT (LEHMANN/NEWCOMBE) 
 
E.O.  12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV OTRA KCRM KJUS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA TACKLES CHILD PORNOGRAPHY 
 
 
1. Summary: In an effort to protect children from sexual 
exploitation, Georgia is working to criminalize online child 
exploitation, building upon its recent aggressive legislative and 
enforcement efforts which resulted in Tier I status for Georgia in 
the 2007 United States Government's Annual Report on Trafficking in 
Persons.  Consistent with their demonstrated commitment to 
protecting vulnerable individuals from exploitation, a committee of 
Georgian government officials - - including representatives from the 
Office of the Public Prosecution Service (OPP) and the Georgian 
National Communications Commission (NCC), the Georgian FCC - - the 
largest Georgian Internet Service Provider (ISP), United Nations 
Children's Fund (UNICEF) representatives, and international experts 
- - Department of Justice Attorneys (DOJ), Sheila Phillips, Program 
Manager, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance 
and Training (OPDAT) and Alexandra Gelber, Trial Attorney, Child 
Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and UNICEF Child Protection 
expert Kerry Neal - - recently worked with Georgian experts to 
complete draft legislation to more expansively combat child 
pornography.  This legislation, compliant with international 
standards and best practices, initiates Georgia's efforts to 
comprehensively address the global scourge of child pornography, 
specifically including internet child pornography. First, it 
punishes - - by imprisonment, fine, and deprivation of civil rights 
-- any individual who intentionally receives, possesses, offers, 
distributes, accesses or produces child pornography.  Second, it 
creates a specialized unit to investigate and detect child 
pornography and exploitation crimes.  Third, it imposes an 
obligation upon ISPs to report internet child pornography and assist 
law enforcement with such investigations.  Fourth, it creates a 
public list of convicted child pornography offenders and requires 
organizations, whether voluntary or paying, that involve children to 
examine it prior to employing a person.  Fourth, it provides a 
general measure of assistance to child witnesses and victims. 
Finally, it provides the foundation for future legislation and 
enforcement efforts which address other internet-based crimes. End 
Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
When You Wish Upon a Star - - An Idea is Born 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
2. In order to build upon Georgia's success in achieving Tier I 
status, Georgia Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) Roger Keller and OPP 
developed a three-step program to combat child pornography and 
exploitation in Georgia based on the recognition that Georgians, 
primarily, use child pornography and do not produce it.  First, a 
committee of interested NGOs and government officials would meet to 
identify specific child pornography and exploitation problems in 
Georgia.  Second, Post RLA would convene a panel of experts to draft 
legislation addressing those problems and ensure that Georgia is 
compliant with international standards including provisions 
advocated by the UN and Council of Europe.  Finally, Georgian law 
enforcement officials would be trained in computer technology, 
including computer forensics, to investigate and prosecute these 
crimes. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Hi Ho, Hi Ho It's Off to Work We Go 
----------------------------------- 
 
3. In May, Post RLA and the OPP hosted a meeting of interested NGOs 
and public officials.  The NGOs suggested that child pornography and 
exploitation problems exist in Georgia; however, the problem's scope 
is largely unknown because of the absence of public awareness, 
hidden family or individual pride, and a lack of a common 
understanding of what constitutes child pornography.  Like the 
absence of knowledge concerning trafficking in persons in Georgia, 
they concluded that the problem's scope would not be fully 
understood until the OPP begins to proactively investigate and 
prosecute individuals.  The participants noted that the OPP has not 
prosecuted a child pornography case in at least 5 years.  They 
suggested that legislation concerning this issue should: (1) define 
child pornography; (2) involve the public; and (3) rehabilitate 
victims. 
 
4.   Work group participants also met with Members of Parliament and 
NCC officials in an effort to garner support for legislative action. 
 Both the relevant Members of Parliament and the NCC readily offered 
to nominate staff members to participate in the legislation drafting 
work group.  Furthermore, they identified issues the legislation 
should address.  For example, a Member of Parliament suggested that 
the legislation should protect and rehabilitate child pornography 
victims.  Likewise, the NCC officials recommended that the 
legislation should protect individual privacy from potential 
government abuse and individuals who accidentally access child 
pornography.  NCC's chairman also said that prosecutions should 
expressly be limited to individuals intentionall
y accessing child 
pornography. 
 
 
TBILISI 00002663  002 OF 004 
 
 
5. Finally, on September 24, 2007, the work group, in a digital 
video conference (DVC) with DOJ officials and America on Line (AOL) 
representatives, discussed investigative requirements and ISP 
regulations.  The DOJ participants outlined the U.S. enforcement 
structure, and highlighted facets that could be used in the Republic 
of Georgia. Experts also discussed how computer forensic evidence is 
crucial in proving intentional transportation, possession and 
accessing of child pornography. AOL's representatives explained how 
the company complied with the U.S. laws that require that ISPs 
report known child pornography and how they assisted law 
enforcement.  AOL highlighted the fact that it only saves available 
historical ISP traffic for an extended period of time when requested 
by law enforcement officials.  Thus, expensive equipment upgrades - 
- a constant fear expressed by the ISP representative - -  are 
unnecessary.  Furthermore, AOL does not monitor its subscriber 
traffic.  Instead, it voluntarily established a system for its 
subscribers to submit complaints about individuals abusing the 
system.  Several of these complaints have provided leads to internet 
child pornography cases.  Finally, both law enforcement officials 
and AOL indicated that combating internet child pornography requires 
government and private industry cooperation.  Based on the ISP's 
inclusion in the work group, the U.S. experts believed the Georgians 
were off to a good start. 
 
---------------------- 
Whistle While You Work 
---------------------- 
 
6.  Based on this series of meetings, the work group members 
determined that the draft legislation should: (1) clearly define 
child pornography; (2) remain sufficiently flexible to adjust to 
technological changes; (3) punish only acts intentionally involving 
child pornography; (4) make information readily available to the 
public; (5) protect both child pornography victims and witnesses; 
and (6) help to protect and assist child pornography and 
exploitation victims.  Furthermore, the legislation should be 
consistent with international standards and best practices to 
satisfy Georgia's current and future international obligations. 
During the week of October 8, 2007, the work group, using draft 
legislation OPP's representative prepared, addressed these issues 
and completed draft anti-child pornography and exploitation 
legislation. 
 
7. First, the work group defined child pornography.  NCC's 
representative recommended that the definition should not include 
adults portraying minors because including such material might 
infringe upon a film director's artistic efforts, for example, to 
portray certain acts in films.  Likewise, he requested an exception 
for individuals using pictures for medical purposes.  U.S. experts 
noted that such depictions would not constitute child pornography in 
the U.S.  The U.S. definition of child pornography requires that the 
material depict someone under the age of 18 engaging in sexually 
explicit conduct. They also noted that the definition of sexually 
explicit conduct used in the UN Convention on Cybercrime and the 
Council of Europe's recent Convention on Child Exploitation, is 
specific enough to exclude images used for medical purposes from 
being considered child pornography. UNICEF representatives, however, 
urged the Georgians to adopt a definition that criminalized adults 
portraying minors - a provision that has been held by the US Supreme 
Court to be unconstitutional unless the image is deemed to be 
obscene. The US Supreme Court indicated that such language would 
potentially criminalize Hollywood productions such as the "Titanic" 
that depicted adults playing minors engaged in sexual conduct. 
UNICEF representatives noted that the United Nations Convention on 
Child Exploitation defines child pornography to include adults 
portraying minors.  However, they suggested defining child 
pornography in the explanatory notes to allow the local community to 
determine whether artistic portrayals of adults pretending to be 
minors engaged in sexual conduct constitutes child pornography. 
Both UNICEF representatives and U.S. experts ultimately suggested 
that the Georgians could adopt the Council of Europe's definition of 
sexual conduct because the Council of Europe's definition, which is 
identical to the definition used in the US, is limited to depictions 
of sexual acts or material that lasciviously displays a minor's 
genital area and would not criminalize images used for medical 
purposes. The Council of Europe's definition of child pornography 
also criminalizes images that depict individuals who are 
indistinguishable from real or actual minors which would allow for 
prosecution of digital images where the identity and age of the 
persons depicted are unknown.  The work group concluded that these 
definition changes reflected their intent.  Moreover, these 
definitions are sufficiently broad to provide the necessary 
flexibility as technology develops. 
 
8. Second, the work group addressed the challenge of distinguishing 
intentional and unintentional child pornography acts.  NCC and the 
ISP representatives claimed that individuals, including the 
government, might infect a person's computer with a computer virus 
and use the virus to access child pornography.  Having infected the 
 
TBILISI 00002663  003 OF 004 
 
 
computer with child pornography, unsavory law enforcement officials, 
for example, seeking to discredit an anti-government journalist, 
would use the planted child pornography to search the entire 
computer, including articles that reflected unfavorably on the 
government.  The work group quickly concluded that only intentional 
efforts to access child pornography should be punished.  The draft 
legislation reflects this conclusion in that it expressly provides 
that only intentional conduct is punished, and the government bears 
the burden to prove that the accused acted intentionally.  As to the 
NCC and ISP concerns, the U.S. experts noted that evidence of the 
computer virus would remain on the computer.  Consequently, 
investigators would find evidence to support the accused person's 
argument that he did not intentionally access child pornography. 
Moreover, as to concerns directed at law enforcement, the group 
concluded that this legislation was not the place to address illegal 
efforts by law enforcement to violate the law.  Instead, the courts 
would be the correct venue to curb illegal law enforcement activity. 
 
 
9. Third, the work group struggled with determining what information 
should be publicly available.  The work group decided that the 
Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) would maintain a list of 
individuals convicted of child pornography crimes.  However, what 
information should the public be allowed to access?  For example, 
UNICEF's expert noted that the United Kingdom obliges organizations 
to request information from a public register to establish that a 
potential employee has not been con
victed of a child pornography or 
exploitation crime.  This information, however, is not generally 
available to the public.  U.K. officials were concerned that widely 
disseminating this information would invite vigil ante violence.  By 
contrast, in the United States, various agencies maintain lists of 
individuals convicted of crimes and make the information widely 
available to the public.  Ultimately, the work group melded both 
examples.  It decided that MOIA's list should be maintained on its 
website with access to the public.  However, the information will 
only include a person's name, date of birth, date of conviction, and 
penalty leveled against him.  This will allow the public to identify 
individuals in their neighborhoods who have been convicted of such 
crimes and limit the possibility of vigil ante violence. 
Furthermore, the work group imposed a record keeping requirement on 
organizations involving children.  These organizations will have to 
demonstrate that they examined the list and determined that anyone 
in their employ, whether paid or volunteer, has not been convicted 
of a child pornography or exploitation crime. 
 
10. Fourth, the ISP representative proved helpful in addressing the 
obligations imposed on the service providers.  He readily conceded 
that the ISPs should cooperate with law enforcement during an 
investigation.  However, he did not believe that the ISPs should be 
responsible for saving or providing information it is technically 
not cable of providing.  In other words, the ISP should not be 
required to invest large amounts of money to obtain or save 
information law enforcement officials claim is theoretically 
available.  The work group conceded that this seemed fair and only 
required the ISP to provide information if it was technically able 
to do so.  Moreover, law enforcement officials will not be granted 
unlimited access to the ISP's system.  In the United States, law 
enforcement officials routinely digitally copy the content of 
several servers belonging to an ISP when searching for incriminating 
evidence.  The ISP representative suggested that this would provide 
law enforcement officials with access to information not involved in 
the case, but which might be useful for political reasons.  Instead, 
he suggested that, other than instances in which the ISP is a target 
of an investigation, the ISPs should be responsible for providing 
the law enforcement officials with the requested information. 
Finally, the work group concluded that the ISPs are only liable if 
they intentionally fail to report evidence of child pornography or 
exploitation.  They are not responsible for searching for or 
creating a system that allows them to detect such information. 
 
11. Finally, the work group tackled the need to protect child 
pornography and exploitation victims and witnesses from further 
victimization and public humiliation.  Consistent with the interests 
of child victims, UNICEF and DOJ experts suggested that the 
legislation might penalize press organizations who disclose the 
victim or witness's identity.  Furthermore, the legislation should 
allow the court and various child advocacy agencies to remove a 
child from an abusive atmosphere.  The work group agreed with both 
of these proposals.  First, the draft legislation specifically 
prohibits press agencies from disclosing a victim or witness's 
identity.  If an agency does this after a court enters an order 
prohibiting such conduct, the press will be subject to fines and 
possible imprisonment up to 30 days.  Moreover, if an organization 
does this prior to such a court order, the organization may be fined 
an amount, based on a sliding scale, to deter such future activity. 
Finally, the legislation allows the court, child advocacy agency, or 
such other state agency to remove a child from an abuse situation; 
however, the legislation does not dictate where the child must be 
placed.  Instead, it leaves this decision up to the court and the 
 
TBILISI 00002663  004 OF 004 
 
 
child's various representatives. 
 
 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
First Star to the Right and Straight on 'til Morning 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
12. Completing the draft legislation does not complete the work 
group's efforts.  The legislation also requires the MOIA to train 
and equip a special unit to detect and investigate child 
pornography.  This means that the Government of Georgia will need to 
obtain computers and train investigators how to use them to detect 
child pornography and exploitation crimes.  Additionally, MOIA will 
need to teach a cadre of experts forensic investigating and 
questioning skills with child victims.  Finally, the work group will 
need to respond to questions from the interested NGO and Members of 
Parliament not involved in drafting the legislation.  The draft 
legislation, however, represents Georgia's initial attempt to 
comprehensively address child pornography and exploitation issues, 
including the real possibility of prosecution, currently found in 
Georgia. 
 
13. Comment.  Achieving Tier I status demonstrates that Georgia has 
made great strides to protect vulnerable individuals.  It means that 
powerful individuals cannot use the law to exploit vulnerable 
victims.  Instead, Georgia's efforts demonstrate that the law 
shields the weak and extends the sword to the exploiters.  In short, 
achieving Tier I status demonstrates the growth of the Rule of Law 
in Georgia.  Extending this sword to child pornographers and the 
shield to the children further demonstrates the Rule of Law's 
continued development.  Child pornography and exploitation is a 
scourge on society.  It uses a community's most vulnerable victims - 
- children - - and wears at a community's moral fiber. 
Criminalizing the receipt, possession, offering, distribution, or 
production of child pornography empowers prosecutors to protect 
another vulnerable group of individuals and to attack their 
exploiters.  This demonstrates to the public, in a meaningful way, 
how the Rule of law can improve an ordinary citizen's life by 
holding accountable individuals who believe power and/or wealth 
entitle them to use and abuse weaker citizens.  End Comment. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2662, OPPOSITION DRUMMING FOR SUPPORT IN REGIONS FOR NOVEMBER 2

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2662 2007-10-26 11:48 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0402
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2662 2991148
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261148Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8004
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 002662 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV GG
SUBJECT: OPPOSITION DRUMMING FOR SUPPORT IN REGIONS FOR NOVEMBER 2 
PROTEST 
 
REF: TBILISI 2559 
 
1. Summary:  The United National Council of ten opposition parties 
(reftel) has applied for a public demonstration permit with the city 
of Tbilisi for their November 2 anti-government demonstration.  They 
are actively promoting smaller-scale demonstrations in the regions 
and recruiting people to attend the November 2 protest in the 
capital.  The Council's preparations are meeting with mixed success 
so far.  End summary. 
 
2. Representatives of the ten opposition parties, which call 
themselves the United National Council, started a regional tour on 
October 23.  The purpose of the tour is to mobilize citizens in the 
regions to attend the opposition "Big Rally" scheduled for November 
2 in Tbilisi.  The tour itinerary was announced on TV and published 
in the press. 
 
3. On October 23, the opposition leaders visited towns of 
Chokhatauri and Ozurgeti, in Guria region and Batumi, Ajara. 
Published reports said "several thousand" attended these events, and 
Republican MP David Berdzenishvili estimated the first crowd at 
2,500 people and said around 7,000 people attended the Batumi rally. 
 The main slogan of the rally in Batumi was "Georgia without the 
President, Ajara without Varshalomidze!"  This slogan recalls the 
Rose Revolution when citizens rallied behind the call for "Georgia 
without Shevardnadze, Ajara without Abashidze!"  Reportedly, 
supporters of Aslan Abashidze, former head of the local government 
of Autonomous Republic of Ajara who was ousted in 2003, joined the 
rally. 
 
4. On October 24, opposition leaders visited the seaport of Poti. 
The meeting in Poti proved unsuccessful, as people did not gather in 
the city center.  After driving around for some time with horns and 
loudspeakers, the opposition left for Samtredia and Zugdidi where 
they found more supporters.  Berdzenishvili said some 600 supporters 
attended in Samtredia.  Of the National Council, only Konstantine 
Gamsakhurdia spoke in his home region of Zugdidi.  On the same day, 
the leaders returned to Tbilisi to hold meetings with 
representatives of medical doctors and NGOs. 
 
5. The rallying cry of the meetings is "I Am Not Afraid." The 
Council is calling for people to "stand up" against Saakashvili's 
"repressive regime."  Their main demand is to hold preterm 
Parliamentary elections in April, 2008. 
 
6. Concurrently, the opposition is preparing for the November 2 
rally, and has already filed a request for permission with the 
Tbilisi municipality.  Council leader Koba Davitashvili (Party of 
the People) said in a briefing that the Council expects about 
100,000 people to attend in front of Parliament on Rustaveli Avenue. 
 This is the high end of expectations, and no one is able to 
accurately predict what attendance will be.  Berdzenishvili said "we 
can bring as many people from the regions as we want; the only 
hindrance is money to pay for transportation."  The mayor's office 
formally has 10 days to consider the request for the rally, though 
the decision is expected to be known in two or three days. 
Rejection of the request, or offering a different venue, will 
increase the opposition's resentment of the government. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2661, GEORGIAN RESPONSE TO DAVID WALKER CANDIDACY FOR UN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2661 2007-10-26 11:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0014
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #2661 2991143
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261143Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8003
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4604

UNCLAS TBILISI 002661 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL AORC UNGA UNGA UN GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIAN RESPONSE TO DAVID WALKER CANDIDACY FOR UN 
IAAC 
 
REF: SECSTATE 146857 
 
Per reftel request, Poloff delivered talking points and Mr. 
Walker's biographic information to Alexander Nalbandov, 
Director of the International Organizations Department at the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Nalbandov said that Georgia 
would likely support the U.S. candidate for the seat on the 
UN's Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC), but he 
would first have to consult with the Georgian Mission in New 
York to ensure that Georgia had not already pledged support 
for either the Swiss or Spanish candidates before endorsing 
Mr. Walker. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2660, GEORGIA LIKELY TO SUPPORT CUBA EMBARGO RESOLUTION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2660 2007-10-26 11:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0009
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #2660 2991143
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261143Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8002
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4603

UNCLAS TBILISI 002660 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/CARC AND IO/UNP 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM ETRD UNGA GG CU
SUBJECT: GEORGIA LIKELY TO SUPPORT CUBA EMBARGO RESOLUTION 
 
REF: SECSTATE 148506 
 
Per reftel request, Poloff delivered talking points to 
Alexander Nalbandov, Director of the International 
Organizations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
Nalbandov said that Georgia shares the EU position in favor 
of removal of the embargo and will support the resolution. 
When pressed, he said that he would consult with Ministry 
officials to see whether Georgia could abstain from voting, 
but noted that Georgia has traditionally voted for the 
resolution in the past, and it was unlikely Georgia would 
abstain. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2659, USUPASHVILI ADDRESSES NOVEMBER 2 PROTEST,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2659 2007-10-26 11:41 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0385
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2659/01 2991141
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261141Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8000
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002659 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: USUPASHVILI ADDRESSES NOVEMBER 2 PROTEST, 
ELECTIONS WITH AMBASSADOR 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 2559 
 
     B. TBILISI 2483 
     C. TBILISI 2596 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: On October 24, Chairman of the opposition 
Republican Party David Usupashvili met with Ambassador 
regarding the united opposition's planned November 2 protest 
against the Saakashvili government (ref A).  Usupashvili 
voiced two main concerns about the protests: First, that the 
government -- or an outside party (i.e. Russia) -- could 
provoke violence and spark a crackdown; second, that Irakli 
Okruashvili may attend the protest and inflame the crowd. 
Usupashvili had met on October 23 with Speaker of Parliament 
Nino Burjanadze (ref B) and shared the same two concerns.  He 
said that he believes the government is taking a wait-and-see 
attitude toward the protest, and that their reaction will 
depend on the size of the crowd it attracts.  He said 
Saakashvili is playing "dirty politics" by offering to lower 
the threshold only now that he is under pressure (ref C), 
rather than earlier in the summer.  Usupashvili reiterated 
that he believes the best solution to the current situation 
for both the opposition and government remains early 
elections in spring 2008.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------- 
November 2 Protest Plans Continue 
--------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) On October 24, leader of the opposition Republican 
Party, David Usupashvili, met with Ambassador to discuss the 
upcoming November 2 protest and the status of the 
opposition's United National Council.  Usupashvili told 
Ambassador that he and the Council are trying to find a 
solution to the current political situation.  Usupashvili 
said that the Council has an internal working agreement that 
no party leaders will jeopardize the group's united front. 
 
3. (C) Usupashvili said the opposition continues to meet with 
people throughout the regions.  (Note: Opposition-sponsored 
rallies in Batumi and Kutaisi during the past two weeks each 
drew crowds of a few thousand.  End note.)  He said he does 
not know exactly how many will participate on November 2, but 
he expects at least three times the number that attended on 
September 28, or around 30,000.  The upper limit of anyone's 
expectations is 100,000.  Usupashvili stated that the 
opposition Council is not planning to "cross any lines" 
during the protest, and that they do not want to lose control 
of the crowd.  He said that he believes the government does 
not know what to expect from the protest either, but that 
they are taking a wait-and-see attitude.  Usupashvili 
believes the government's response will depend on the turnout 
at the protest. 
 
---------------------------- 
Usupashvili Meets Burjanadze 
---------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Usupashvili said his understanding of the government's 
position came from a meeting with Parliamentary Speaker Nino 
Burjanadze on October 23.  Usupashvili said Burjanadze asked 
him why the opposition does not work together in Parliament, 
in committees, and on legislation.  He replied that this is 
not the issue that should be discussed now.  Burjanadze told 
him that the government is now thinking about changing the 
election code.  He countered that they should have done this 
during the summer.  Usupashvili said that Saakashvili and 
Burjanadze, unlike Minister of Internal Affairs Merabishvili, 
care about the country and its future.  He said it will be 
bad for the government if they are seen to fold under 
pressure, but it is their fault that they have driven people 
to the street.  He stated that he and Salome Zourabichvili 
(Georgia's Way party) have tried to focus the Council's 
demands on election issues and not on Saakashvili's 
resignation. 
 
5. (C) Usupashvili advised Burjanadze of the Council's two 
main concerns regarding the November 2 demonstration.  First, 
he worries that if the pressure on the government mounts, 
some ministers (implying Merabishvili) could provoke violence 
to allow the government to crackdown and disperse the 
protesters.  Equally serious could be a staged provocation by 
a foreign interest, specifically Russia.  Usupashvili's 
second concern is that Irakli Okruashvili might attend, which 
he fears would cause the people to demand direct action from 
him against the government.  Finally, Usupashvili told 
Burjanadze that although early elections are not the 
Council's main demand, he believes that they would be the 
best solution for the country.  He said that they would stop 
 
TBILISI 00002659  002 OF 002 
 
 
the pressure now building up against the current government 
and allow Saakashvili to continue to lead the country, "just 
not with a 90 percent approval rating."  If the elections are 
not held early, Usupashvili says, the street could force 
Saakashvili out and replace him with someone totally new. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Opposition and Gove
rnment Share Risk, 
Threshold Offer Not Enough 
------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Usupashvili acknowledged to Ambassador that the 
opposition, as well as the government, is at high risk due to 
the pending protest.  He said that with the United Council 
representing all parties except New Rightists, the opposition 
could all be "completely destroyed" at once, should something 
bad happen.  Again, he implied such action could be 
instigated by Russia.  In response to Ambassador's question 
regarding Saakashvili's offer to lower the threshold for 
participation in Parliament, Usupashvili said "we are not 
stupid; we know they were holding this for such a time when 
they were under pressure."  Usupashvili restated that 
whatever happens, he does not want to see another "force 
majeure" situation in Georgia.  He is asking people to "be 
responsible." 
 
7. (C) (Note: Usupashvili and fellow United National Council 
opposition leader Konstantine Gamsakhurdia are scheduled to 
meet with NATO Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer's staff and 
Javier Solana's staff in Brussels this week to discuss the 
state of the opposition and upcoming elections.  They then 
travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with EUR/CARC and Senator 
Graham, among others.  Usupashvili plans to return to Georgia 
the morning of November 2.  End note.) 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
8. (C) The Ambassador advised Usupashvili that he continues 
to hear the Georgian people do not want more instability, and 
that the harsh rhetoric used by both the opposition and 
government does not help the situation.  He applauded 
Usupashvili reaching out quietly to Burjanadze, and 
encouraged further dialogue between the opposition and 
government.  The Ambassador agreed that Burjanadze and the 
government are trying to determine what action to take 
regarding the November 2 protest.  The government has been 
largely quiet about it.  The opposition has put Saakashvili's 
government in a corner, where he is largely unable to concede 
anything more at this point without seriously losing face. 
It appears that the opposition has gotten to this point 
without now knowing what to do next, especially if things get 
out of control. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2657, GEORGIA’S NEW ENERGY MINISTER OUTLINES 2007-08

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2657 2007-10-26 07:26 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9971
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2657/01 2990726
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 260726Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7996
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 002657 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND EEB/ESC/IEC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/22/2017 
TAGS: ENRG EPET PREL GG RU AJ
SUBJECT: GEORGIA'S NEW ENERGY MINISTER OUTLINES 2007-08 
ENERGY SITUATION, CONCERNS ABOUT AIOC/AZERBAIJAN PSA 
NEGOTIATIONS 
 
REF: BAKU 1268 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: The Ambassador met with Georgia's new 
Minister of Energy, Aleksandr Khetaguri, on October 18. 
Khetaguri outlined increasing hydroelectric production in 
Georgia that has enabled Georgia to export significant 
amounts of power to Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan in 2007, as 
well as supply its domestic market.  He estimates Georgia's 
demand for natural gas at 1.8-1.9 BCM annually.  This demand 
will be met with modest amounts of gas received for transit 
to Turkey and Armenia, and a mix of Russian and Azeri gas. 
Because of its desire to limit the need for expensive Russian 
gas, Georgia is vitally interested in the AIOC-Azeri 
government negotiations over the ACG production sharing 
agreement and AIOC's recent decision to resume re-injecting 
ACG associated gas.  Khetaguri said that Georgia will be 
unwilling to permit AIOC to ship additional amounts of oil 
that may be produced with the help of that re-injected gas. 
He said that Armenia's demand for Russian gas shipped through 
Georgia will not be reduced because of new Iranian supplies 
to Armenia until late in 2008.  The GOG continues to work on 
plans for storage of natural gas.  Nuclear power is a much 
more long-range possibility, Khetaguri said.  End Summary. 
 
2. (C) Khetaguri was a Deputy Minister of Energy from 
2004-2006 after a long tenure with the Georgian National 
Electricity Regulatory Commission.  In 2006, he became 
president of the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation and ran it 
until he was appointed as Minister to replace Nika Gilauri, 
who was shifted to head the Ministry of Finance, in October 
2007.  He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from 
Tbilisi State University and a Master's degree in accounting 
from the Tbilisi Business and Marketing Institute. 
 
"PLENTY OF ELECTRICITY" 
----------------------- 
 
3. (C) Khetaguri said that in summer 2006 Georgia exported 
800 million kilowatt hours (KWH) of electric power pursuant 
to swap agreements with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russian 
utility RAO/UES.  He expects to receive less this winter in 
return from Georgia's foreign partners, because Georgia will 
have "plenty of electricity".  To the extent it is not 
compensated in kind, Georgia will receive cash, he said. 
Khetaguri was pleased that in 2007, Georgia provided some 300 
million KWH of electricity to Russian utility RAO/UES worth 
USD 12 million.  The new exchange deal with Russia, which 
returns power kilowatt for kilowatt, or for cash, is similar 
to a deal in place with Turkey.  This swap deal continues 
through 2009.  Khetaguri sees it as unfortunate that Gazprom 
and RAO/UES "hate each other," making a gas for electricity 
swap with Russia impossible.  Khetaguri reported that Georgia 
is exploring a power swap deal with Azerbaijan that would see 
summer hydropower from Georgia exchanged for winter gas. 
Such a deal is supported by both nations, but Khetaguri 
laments that it cannot be concluded until Azeri production 
meets internal demands, which means at the earliest 2009. 
 
4. (C) Water levels at the Enguri and other hydroelectric 
dams are at historically high levels, Khetaguri said. 
Rehabilitation of the second generating unit at Enguri is 
finished, which will increase Enguri's capacity by 160-170 
megawatts (MW) with a lower risk of failure due to improved 
infrastructure.  Work is proceeding on the third of Enguri's 
five  units, which will further increase the capacity at 
Georgia's largest source of electricity as each of these new 
repairs comes on line (one year is required to complete works 
on each).  Comment:  For the first time in decades Georgia 
can fully exploit Enguri for its intended purpose: to provide 
peaking power that complements Georgia's base-load thermal 
and hydropower assets. 
 
5. (C) Thermal electrical generation capacity is the same, 
that is, Gardabani unit 9, run by RAO/UES subsidiary Mtkvari 
Energy (capacity 250 MW), state-owned units 3 and 4 (130 and 
140 MW respectively) and EnergyInvest's gas turbines (two 
units, capacity 55 MW each).  Unit 9 is forecast to run from 
the end of September to the end of March and Unit 3 from 
mid-November to mid-March.  Unit 4, which Khetaguri hopes 
will not be used, is being readied for a maximum of one month 
mid-December to mid-January if needed.  The gas turbines are 
being "held in reserve," at very high cost to the network. 
They will operate only as needed, Khetaguri said. 
 
AIOC/AZERI DISPUTE CAUSES CONCERN 
 
TBILISI 00002657  002 OF 003 
 
 
--------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Khetaguri said that demand for natural gas this winter 
will not vary much from last year.  He estimates Georgia's
 
total natural gas consumption for 2008 to be 1.85 billion 
cubic meters (BCM), down from over two BCM forecast for 2007. 
 The reduction is due in part to more rational use of power 
generation capacity that minimizes high-cost thermal 
generation.  Gas demands will be met by 0.2 BCM received from 
Russia for transit of gas to Armenia, 0.25 BCM from South 
Caspian Pipeline (SCP) gas from the Shah Deniz field in 
Azerbaijan, and the rest from a mix of Azeri and Russian gas. 
 Comment: Imports of electricity that could offset gas 
imports are missing from the 2008 Georgian electricity 
balance, principally because Georgia is unwilling to rely on 
Russia for electrical energy as well as natural gas.  It is 
also unwilling to turn to Armenia because it Armenian 
generating assets are Russian-owned. 
 
7. (C) The amount and price of gas to be received from 
Azerbaijan and Russia are currently unknown beyond existing 
contracts for $235/tcm from Russia which expire December 31. 
Obtaining greater quantities of Azeri gas is the subject of 
negotiations that are currently stalled as Azerbaijan irons 
out differences with BP and the BTC consortium AOIC over 
future production of oil and gas from the ACG and Shah Deniz 
fields (reftel).  Khetaguri said that Azerbaijan had promised 
Georgia one BCM in 2008, but that discussions were halted 
when the Azerbaijan-AIOC negotiations went off the rails. 
Currently, no deliveries of gas are being received, but the 
Azeris have confirmed they will supply 1.3 million cubic 
meters daily until January (out of Georgia's approximately 
8.3 million cubic meter peak demand in mid-winter). 
 
8. (C) Khetaguri explained to us that AIOC is contractually 
obligated to deliver 1.4 BCM of gas to Azerbaijan from the 
ACG field.  He said that ACG gas production has exceeded the 
2 BCM previously estimated and should total 4 BCM per annum. 
This implies that AIOC now has 2.6 BCM to reinject or sell to 
Azerbaijan - significantly more gas than the previously 
forecasted 0.6 BCM.  Last year, as delays in gas production 
from Shah Deniz occurred, AIOC had agreed with SOCAR to 
reduce the amount of gas reinjected into ACG and supply an 
additional 1.6 BCM to Azerbaijan, some of which was sold to 
Georgia to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.  Now, with 
SCP up and running, Khetaguri said that AIOC wants to 
reinject the entire 2.4 BCM to produce greater-than-planned 
amounts of oil and reap profits from the current high world 
prices for oil.  When negotiations on ACG's future broke 
down, AIOC stopped supplying the additional 1.6 BCM to 
Azerbaijan, supplying only the 1.4 BCM contracted volume. 
Khetaguri estimates that as a result, Azerbaijan will have a 
shortfall in its total needs of 500-600 million cubic meters. 
 
 
9. (C) If the Azeris cannot convince AIOC to increase the 
amount of ACG gas supplied, and if they want to remain free 
of any Russian gas imports, they will have to burn more 
expensive mazout than planned or cut supplies to Georgia. 
Both Khetaguri and Georgian Prime Minister Noghaideli want to 
avoid the latter outcome.  Khetaguri said that Georgia holds 
a card in the AIOC-Azeri discussions -- AIOC needs Georgia's 
permission to increase BTC shipments beyond those already 
contracted.  Khetaguri admits that the consortium is not 
immediately obligated to supply the reinjected gas to 
Azerbaijan, but if AIOC reinjects the gas into the ACG field 
to increase oil production, it will not have any way to ship 
that oil to market without Georgia's and Azerbaijan's 
cooperation.  It is this threat to which PM Noghaideli was 
referring in his most recent conversation with the 
Ambassador, and as clarified by Khetaguri, it does not seem 
to involve repudiating agreements or cutting off shipments to 
which the GOG has already agreed.  Khetaguri said that he has 
met and exchanged views on this issue with Georgia BP Chief 
Hugh McDowell.  Comment: Under the scenario as explained by 
Khetaguri, the best outcome of the AIOC-Azeri negotiations 
would seem to be a compromise under which some gas is 
reinjected, some more oil is produced and shipped via BTC, 
and some gas is supplied to Azerbaijan and Georgia.  Both BP 
and Khetaguri believe that Azerbaijan will have to burn 
mazout for power in 2008, because even the additional 1.6 BCM 
is not enough to meet Azeri demand, let alone export gas to 
Georgia. 
 
ARMENIAN DEMAND FOR IRANIAN GAS 
------------------------------- 
 
 
TBILISI 00002657  003 OF 003 
 
 
10. (C) The Ambassador asked Khetaguri his impressions of the 
gas supply to Armenia from Iran, as the new Iran pipeline 
comes into operation.  Khetaguri said that he understands 
from personal review of the Armenian gas balance that Armenia 
does not intend to reduce Russian gas imports until the end 
of 2008, implying there will be no real increase in supply to 
Armenia from Iran before then.  Therefore, he expects there 
will be no decrease in transit gas for Georgia from the 
North-South pipeline until that time.  As for Georgia's 
dealings with Iran on energy, Khetaguri said there have been 
no government-to-government negotiations since 2006.  He 
denied that KazTransGaz is negotiating with Iran for 
supplies. 
 
THE FUTURE: MORE DIVERSITY, LESS RUSSIAN GAS 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
11. (C) Looking to the future, Khetaguri said that the next 
two to three years will be critical for both Georgia and 
Azerbaijan in terms of supplying their needs for natural gas. 
 After that, Georgia will need much less Russian gas as its 
transit fee for Shah Deniz gas trends up to a maximum of 0.8 
BCM per year.  In the short term, he said, gas which AIOC had 
intended to reinject to boost oil production will be needed. 
Khetaguri reiterated the GOG's willingness to "turn the 
screws" on AIOC to get its way.  The GOG is proceeding with 
feasibility studies for gas storage facilities, and has 
discussed obtaining financing for them from the Azeri 
government.  The options include a small (0.5 BCM) but 
inexpensive facility at Rustavi, and/or a larger (up to 5 
BCM) facility at Ninotsminda which would cost $60 million for 
the first, 400-500 million cubic meter stage alone.  He also 
sees a need for more gas storage in both Turkey and 
Azerbaijan. Khetaguri said that nuclear power is something 
the GOG is considering, but he sees it as something a long 
way off. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2645, SUPREME COURT CHAIRMAN ON JUDGES’ TRAINING, ETHICS

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2645 2007-10-25 09:22 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8986
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2645/01 2980922
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 250922Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7978
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 002645 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/25/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: SUPREME COURT CHAIRMAN ON JUDGES' TRAINING, ETHICS 
CODE 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 767 
 
     B. TBILISI 1299 
     C. TBILISI 2131 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (U) Summary:  The Chairman of the Supreme Court of 
Georgia, Konstantin Kublashvili, recently updated Ambassador 
on two milestones of judicial reform expected by the end of 
October: enrolling students in the High School of Justice 
(HSOJ) and approval by the Conference of Judges of an Ethics 
Code for Judges.  Kublashvili said that the staff has 
incorporated provisions for rules on ex parte communications 
to be included in the HSOJ curriculum.  He readily admitted 
that more needs to be done to inform the public of actual 
progress on judicial reforms.  He cited statistics to support 
increasing judicial independence: out of 2700 cases heard so 
far this year in first instance courts, private individuals 
or firms prevailed over the government in 2000 of them.  He 
announced that he will be publishing statistics of the number 
of disciplinary cases filed against judges to show how the 
number of malfeasance cases is dropping.  He expressed 
appreciation for ABA/CEELI judicial training, and noted that 
this has led to more efficient and expedient trials. End 
Summary. 
 
2.  (U)  On October 16, the Ambassador met with the Chairman 
of the Supreme Court of Georgia, Konstantin Kublashvili, to 
discuss opening the High School of Justice (HSOJ), 
implementing the Ex Parte Communication Law, heightening 
public awareness of judicial reforms and progress, training 
for sitting and new judges, and clarifying a GoG grant of 
land for an apartment building to the Judges' Association 
(ref C). 
 
--------------------------- 
HSOJ -- It's Time for Class 
--------------------------- 
 
3.  (U) Kublashvili told the Ambassador about the ongoing 
competitive selection of judges, some of whom would 
immediately be placed on the bench, and others who would 
attend the HSOJ beginning at the end of October.  He told 
Ambassador that the school would start enrolling up to 20 
students on October 29-31, and that the curriculum was ready 
(refs A and B).  New rules prohibiting ex parte 
communications will be taught under the instructional block 
entitled "Behavior of Judges."  Two tests will be 
administered during the 14-month course, with a final exam 
upon completion.  It is still undecided whether judges who 
graduate will serve on magistrate courts or on city courts. 
Currently, the plan is that judges will attend the HSOJ, sit 
as judges for 2-3 years, and then receive lifetime 
appointments.  Kublashvili said that the Association of 
Judges drafted an Ethics Code for Judges which he shared with 
Ambassador.  Besides the code, another element reinforcing 
ethical behavior is changes to the Law on Discipline, as 
recommended by the Venice Commission.  Kublashvili told the 
Ambassador that the association, the Judges of Georgia (JoG), 
has approved an Ethics Code for Judges which will be 
presented to the larger, 200 member Conference of Judges on 
October 20.  He anticipates that the code will be adopted 
during this session.  When the Ambassador asked how the JoG, 
whose membership is voluntary, could enforce such a code, 
Kublashvili replied that this is not an issue, because all 
but 15 judges belong to it.  Separate discussions after the 
meeting clarified that inappropriate conduct by judges is to 
be reported to the High Council of Judges, whose Disciplinary 
Collegeum would decide on fines or more strict censure. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Ex Parte Communications--Making an Impact 
----------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (U)  With regards to the impact of the new law 
prohibiting ex parte communications with judges, Kublashvili 
said it has been difficult to get the word out about its 
requirements, despite their importance.  Only half of the 
most recent group of candidates for judge, had heard of the 
law and knew its implications.  However, as evidence of its 
implementation among sitting judges, he stated that according 
to what he has been told by a Tbilisi City Court judge, that 
where that official had had 100 calls from prosecutors and 
family members of the accused, he now receives only 10 calls, 
all of which are from relatives and friends and none from 
prosecutors.  Kublashvili said that prosecutors know all too 
well now what the consequences will be should they attempt to 
communicate with judges outside the courtroom. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
 
TBILISI 00002645  002 OF 003 
 
 
A Taste of Judicial Reform for the Masses 
----------------------------------------- 
 
5.  (U)  Kublashvili recognized that more needs to be done to 
inform the public about judicial reform.  He said he is 
considering organizing a conference in November to which the 
diplomatic community and the press would be invited.  There 
he will share the High Council of Justice's criteria for 
appointment of judges and for choosing which will receive &#x0
00A;training at the HSOJ (ref B). He explained that under the 
law, there are no specific criteria for these choices, so the 
HSOJ established criteria after studying those used in other 
countries.  The Ambassador recommended that Kublashvili also 
consider including information about the law on ex parte 
communications and what it means for the average citizen, as 
well as the meaning of the new Code of Ethics for Judges. 
Both new steps will go a long way to improving public 
perception and building confidence in the judiciary, he said. 
 Kublashvili highlighted plans to allow cameras into 
courtrooms, responding to vociferous complaints by the media 
in July, when a new law banned journalists from bringing 
video equipment into the courtroom.  He said the court is not 
opposed to proceedings being filmed, but rather the 
disruptive element that journalists inject whenever they are 
permitted to do so.  Kublashvili emphasized that while the 
recordings would not be shared with everyone, if a question 
is raised about the actual events during the proceedings, 
documented footage could be provided to quash rumors of 
improprieties.  He said transparency is particularly needed 
in high profile cases, such as that of Irakli Okruashvili, 
and he thinks recordings will prevent conspiracy theories 
from blossoming. 
 
-------------------- 
Why Training Matters 
-------------------- 
 
6.  (U) Kublashvili thanked the Ambassador for training 
provided by ABA/CEELI and said he would welcome opportunities 
to incorporate intellectual property rights (IPR) into its 
curriculum when the time is right.  He recognized that poor 
protection of IPR is not only an impediment for a Free Trade 
Agreement between Georgia and the US, but it would impede 
such agreements with other countries as well.  He believes 
the mock trials conducted by ABA/CEELI trainers to 
familiarize judges and lawyers with the soon-to-be-introduced 
jury trials was particularly helpful.  Kublashvili added that 
"Benchbooks" were particularly helpful to judges in making 
sounder and speedier decisions.  He said that out of 3,000 
administrative cases this year, at all levels, the average 
time for a trial to be completed is 17 months, which is 
better than in most courts in Europe.  Kublashvili stated 
that the court hopes to use plea bargaining more often than 
in the 51 percent of criminal cases in which it currently is 
used.  The Ambassador stressed that plea bargaining can be an 
effective tool, but a defendant's plea must be ratified in 
the presence of a judge, and there should be no perception of 
coercion.  The Ambassador asked for clarification of figures 
that the Chairman had quoted to him during an earlier visit 
with regards to percentage of cases won by private persons or 
firms against the government. Kublashvili said in the first 
six months of this year, there were 2700 cases filed in 
courts of first instance by private citizens or firms against 
government entities.  Two thousand of these cases resulted in 
judgments in favor of the citizen or firm.   The implication 
for Kublashvili is that private entities are getting a fairer 
hearing, as measured by the number of cases they are winning. 
 He added that in tax cases, half were resolved in favor of 
the taxpayer.  With regards to corruption, he said that the 
number of judges receiving disciplinary sanctions is 
substantially less now than previously.  This information 
will soon be published in a brochure for public 
dissemination.  He agreed to provide the figures he quoted to 
the Ambassador, along with a copy of the brochure, by October 
26.  The Ambassador underlined the importance of continuing 
education for judges, and the necessity for judges to 
enthusiastically embrace training in order to maintain their 
professional qualifications. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Apartments for Judges -- Overcome by Events 
----------------------------------------- 
 
7.  (U) Kublashvili addressed concerns raised by some members 
of the opposition about the transfer of land to the judges' 
association, on which an apartment building is to be built, 
in which judges will be allowed to purchase apartments at a 
reduced cost for their own personal use (ref C). He said that 
it was never planned that the government would give judges 
land directly, but that the judges through their association, 
 
TBILISI 00002645  003 OF 003 
 
 
Temida, were to purchase apartments by taking out loans 
through local banks.  In the end, the judges ran out of time 
to make such banking arrangements, and so the end result was 
that neither land nor apartments were purchased.  Kublashvili 
told Ambassador that such arrangements exist for judges in 
other European countries, and although there was controversy 
over the anticipated purchases, it would not have been 
without precedent.  Ambassador stressed while such a plan 
could technically have been within the legal framework, 
judges are held to a higher standard and that the perception 
was that they were receiving preferential treatment. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
8.  (C)  Although the HSOJ has a curriculum and a plan to 
implement the ex parte communications law, details concerning 
the syllabi, assignment of tasks, and how those affected by 
the ex parte communications law are informed about it are 
still very fuzzy.  While Kublashvili noted that students 
would be registered at the HSOJ by the end of October, he did 
not say that classes would start then.  U.S. regional legal 
experts assess the proposed Code of Ethics for Judges as 
quite good, but the question remains whether the JoG has the 
power to enforce it, especially against non-members.  A new 
wrinkle is the 2-3 year "probationary" period Kublashvili 
discussed before which judges receive lifetime tenure in 
their positions.  While Kublashvili and his staff have indeed 
met a number of milestones on the road to a fair, efficient 
judiciary, more effort needs to be focused on informing the 
public about what has been done.  This could be done through 
television and press conferences, but the message needs to be 
reiterated often, loudly, and for more than one news cycle. 
Post will continue to work with the HSOJ and the Supreme 
Court to encourage them to open the HSOJ in October as 
promised, and will push both organizations to formulate a 
public campaign to share the accomplishment of these 
significant milestones. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI2644, GEORGIA: UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE RESOLUTIONS DEMARCHE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2644 2007-10-25 08:41 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #2644 2980841
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250841Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7977
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 4602

UNCLAS TBILISI 002644 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT. FOR IO, DRL, EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PREL KTIA GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA:  UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE RESOLUTIONS DEMARCHE 
 
REF: SECSTATE 145641 
 
1.  Per reftel request, Poloff delivered talking points to 
Alexander Nalbandov, Director of the Department of 
International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs.  On the issue of "no-action" motions, Nalbandov said 
that it was Georgia's policy not to support no-action motions 
and they would always vote against them.  He added that the 
GoG believed that it was important each resolution be debated 
on its substance, in line with the U.S. position. 
 
2.  (SBU) Regarding the country specific resolutions on the 
human rights records of Burma, Iran, Belarus and North Korea, 
Nalbandov said that human rights is a top priority for the 
Georgian government and the issue of human rights violations 
in other countries is important for Georgia.  He added, 
however, that he had recently discussed the Iran resolution 
with Georgian Ambassador to the UN, Irakli Alasania, who is 
in Tbilisi for consultations, and it was agreed that Georgia 
would abstain from voting on it.  Poloff emphasized that the 
Iran resolution was a top priority for the U.S. and asked 
that Georgia consider voting for the resolution.  Nalbandov 
replied that Georgia would most likely support the country 
specific resolutions for Burma, North Korea and Belarus, but 
he would have to consult with other government officials 
before he could confirm Georgian support (Note: Of the three, 
the Belarus resolution might be most problematic, as the 
Georgian government has recently opened an Embassy there and 
both sides have publicly stated their desire to improve 
bilateral relations.  End note). 
 
3.  Nalbandov said that Georgia "absolutely" favors any 
resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty. 
Georgia abolished the death penalty in 1997, he said, and has 
signed and ratified both EU Convention on Human Rights 
protocols calling for the abolition of the death penalty 
during peace and wartime. 
 
4.  Nalbandov was not aware of the U.S.-sponsored resolution 
in support of the UN Elections Program.  He said he would 
check with the Georgian mission at the UN, but added that he 
did not think there would be any problem for Georgia to 
support the Resolution. 
TEFFT

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