Monthly Archives: June 2008

08TBILISI1123, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISSUES GETTING ATTENTION IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1123 2008-06-27 14:00 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5069
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1123/01 1791400
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271400Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9691
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 001123 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISSUES GETTING ATTENTION IN 
GEORGIA 
 
REF: 2006 TBILISI 01910 
 
 1.  (U)  Summary and Comment:  On June 9, 2006, President 
Saakashvili signed Georgia's first legislation on domestic 
violence.  Although the law institutionalized a system 
designed to shield victims from their abusers, other 
provisions in the Domestic Violence Law Action Plan have 
languished due to the lack of funding. Zurab Adeishvili, 
former Prosecutor General and current Chief of the 
President's Administration, recently asked ministry 
representatives to create an anti-domestic violence 
coordination council by June 27.  GoG plans to amend the 
charter of the Anti-Trafficking Fund (A-TIP) to include 
domestic violence work as part of its mandate.  The creation 
of the anti-domestic violence coordination council is a 
significant step for Georgia, which has a very traditional 
society where people keep such personal matters within the 
strict confines of the family.  Progress will be slow, but 
U.S. assistance can go far to promote awareness and make 
services available for victims.  GoG actions to address 
domestic violence victims should be lauded.  Violence against 
women and lack of referral mechanisms is highlighted in many 
human rights reports, including Georgia's Public Defender's 
Annual report, the United Nations Human Rights Report, 
Amnesty International, and our own 2007 Human Rights Report. 
End Summary and Comment. 
 
----------------------- 
Background on the Issue 
----------------------- 
 
2.  (U)  The law of Combating Domestic Violence, Protection 
of and Support to Its Victims, which came into effect in June 
2006, defines domestic violence as a violation of the 
constitutional rights and liberties of one member of a family 
by another by means of physical, psychological, economic, or 
sexual violence or coercion; however, domestic violence is 
not specifically criminalized.  Perpetrators of domestic 
violence are prosecuted under existing criminal provisions 
against, for example, battery or rape.  The Office of the 
Prosecutor General and the Ministry of the Interior collect 
general law information statistics based on the 
characteristics of the crime as described by the articles of 
the Georgian Criminal Code.  Since domestic violence as such 
is not included in the Criminal Code, it is hard for GoG to 
create, analyze and react upon precise statistics. 
 
3.  (U)  The adoption of a special law was considered an 
important development by local NGOs and international 
organizations but the implementation of the law remains 
problematic.  Georgia still a very traditional country, where 
people try to keep family matters, such as family conflicts 
and violence, internally.  The exception would be those cases 
when domestic violence becomes so obvious that neighbors and 
extended family members get involved.  In order to sustain 
family integrity, most of the victims avoid involving state 
authorities in family matters and continue to live in this 
difficult situation. 
 
4.  (U)  The responsibility of the implementation of the 
Domestic Violence Action Plan spans the authority of the 
following organizations and ministries:  Prosecutor's Office 
(PGO), Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs (MOH), 
Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Internal Affairs 
(MOIA), Bureau of Statistics, and Parliamentary Legal 
Committee.  Perhaps the most active of these organizations 
has been PGO, MOJ, and MOIA in implementing training for 
their cops, judges and lawyers who  respond and assist 
victims on a daily basis.  Less active has been the Ministry 
of Health, whose responsibility is, according to the plan, to 
provide some of the high dollar costs associated with medical 
and social services, to include shelters and training of 
social workers.  The GoG plans to use the second floor of the 
TIP shelter to start a domestic violence shelter.  Post and 
USAID implementers will work with the A-TIP coordinator to 
address the gaps which still remain in funding shelters, 
training social workers, heightening public awareness, and 
making statistics related to the issue more transparent. 
Appointing a domestic violence coordinator quiets criticism 
from the Public Defender and NGOs that they do not have a 
single point of contact to deal with on these issues.  Devi 
Tabidze, Head of Social Department, MOH, told Poloff and NGO 
representatives at round table in December 2007, that the MOH 
had no budget for anti-domestic violence programs. It appears 
now that anti-domestic violence programs may benefit from new 
social spending by Saakashvili. 
 
---------- 
Shelter Me 
 
TBILISI 00001123  002 OF 003 
 
 
----------- 
 
5.  (SBU)  One of the most problematic issues for NGOS who 
provide victims shelters has been a lack of government 
funding.  Although the Domestic Violence Action Plan for 
2006-2008 envisaged that in the first half of 2006 the 
government would elaborate the conditions and standards for 
establishment of a shelter, to date existi
ng shelters are 
funded exclusively through international donors.  Currently 
there are at least three organizations who offer services: 
the Anti-Violence Network (AVN), Sakheli, and Saphari.  AVN 
and Sakheli operate shelters in Tbilisi, each taking in 25-30 
victims a year, to include children.  (Comment:  Sakheli is 
more oriented to IDPs.)  The third shelter run by Saphari in 
Uraveli (in the Armenian minority region of Akhaltiskhe) sees 
fewer victims a year--less than ten women with children. In 
the regions, there are no established shelters, but many 
informal networks exist to provide shelter to one or two 
victims on an adhoc basis.  All three NGOs are very 
competitive in seeking out grants and point out that they 
have the experience to provide such services in the absence 
of government expertise. 
 
-------------- 
Social Workers 
-------------- 
 
6.  (U)  During a roundtable hosted by Embassy, NGOs and 
representatives discussed the important role of social 
workers that is missing in the referral process for victims. 
Social workers are critical to assisting victims in referring 
them to counseling, psychiatric care, and removing children 
from violent family situations.  The lack of social workers 
is part of a larger problem of the dearth of trained medical 
staff and psychiatric assistance for victims.  The Public 
Defender recommended in his annual report that the government 
dedicate resources to this issue and this was echoed in the 
2007 Human Rights Report.  Now, a domestic violence 
coordinator will be the focal point to coordinate this issue 
across affected ministries. 
 
---------------- 
Public Awareness 
---------------- 
 
7.  (SBU)  According to an NGO funded by the American Bar 
Association (ABA) whose lawyers who provide victims of 
domestic violence free legal counsel, prior to the enactment 
of the 2006 law, victims were not aware of their rights.  The 
Center for Protection of Constitutional Rights (CPCR), an NGO 
which runs a hotline in Tbilisi, Gori and Telavi, told Poloff 
that the nature of the calls to their hotline has changed 
since 2006. In 2007, CPCR received 100 calls (79 female, 21 
male), 30 in Gori (28 female, 2 male), and 20 in Telavi (17 
female, 3 male).  Of the 100 calls in Tbilisi, 21 resulted in 
court cases.  Past calls dealt with labor and family law 
issues, now more calls are about physical abuse and victims 
being denied economic assistance.  In the later case, 
husbands refuse to let their spouses work or give them any 
monetary assistance.  Now that victims benefit from free 
legal counsel, the perception from one lawyer was that 
spouses, especially husbands, were more afraid to beat their 
wives.  They know now that their wives can call the police 
who can issue a restrictive orders at the scene which is 
valid for 24 hours.  A district (city) court can issue a 
protective order for three months if a criminal case has been 
initiated on the grounds of domestic violence and can be 
extended further if there is danger to the victim, family 
member of the person providing the victim with medical, legal 
or psychological assistance.  Public awareness has risen in 
cities, but remains low in the outlying regions.  AVN 
spokesperson Sophiko Sharabidze who works in Ambrolauri 
(Raja) said, "Many do not report these incidents as they 
either think it is normal to be beaten by their husbands, or 
they don't report it for fear of bringing shame on the 
family." A critical piece in solving the problem is lack of 
awareness, and Embassy Tbilisi is focusing its assistance on 
the promotion of public awareness. 
 
8.  (U)  The lack of public awareness can be, in part, tied 
to a dearth of comprehensive statistics on the subject. 
According to the government action plan, the Bureau of 
Statistics was to track incidents of domestic abuse and make 
this information publicly available.  As of March 24, 2008, 
the Bureau of Statistics was waiting for this information to 
be passed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA).  Public 
and private hotline services exist, but none of this 
information is comprehensively gathered and analyzed. 
According to a study done by Georgian Young Lawyers 
 
TBILISI 00001123  003 OF 003 
 
 
Association (GYLA) in 2007, the following number of 
restrictive orders were issued by patrol police in Tbilisi, 
Imereti, and Shida Kartli regions for one quarter spanning 
2006-2007:  236 (Tbilisi); 20 (Imereti); 26 (Shida Kartli) 
If this rate is applied for the year, the number of 
restrictive orders alone in Tbilisi would approximate 570. 
Traditionally, more instances are reported in Tbilisi as the 
populace is more educated and aware of the problem.  A GYLA 
report on the subject compiled in 2006, lists psychological 
violence as the most often problem followed by physical 
violence; sexual violence was rare.  The same report 
indicates from 20 to 50 percent of families suffer from 
domestic violence, with women the usual victim--either at the 
hands of the spouse or mother-in-law.  (Note:  these 
percentages were generated by reviewing cases of restrictive 
orders issued by the following agencies:  Main Department of 
the Tbilisi Patrol Police; Tbilisi City Court; General 
Prosecutor's Office; Kutaisi City Court; Imereti Main 
Department of the Patrol Police; District Prosecutor's Office 
of West Georgia; Shida Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti region 
main departments of the Patrol Police; Gori regional court. 
End Comment.)  Our assistance plans to tackle this by 
instituting a better tracking system for statistical data and 
encouraging more transparency in sharing that data. 
 
------------------------ 
Building on Past Success 
------------------------ 
 
9.  (U)  USAID is working on an assistance plan to tackle the 
issues of public awareness and addressing the above gaps. 
USAID's very successful "No to TIP Program" is the model for 
our domestic violence plan.  Domestic violence and human 
trafficking are very different crimes and social behaviors, 
but despite these differences, there is much commonality in 
the approaches that the government may use to fight against 
both phenomena regarding victim referral, assistance, 
rehabilitation, and social reintegration.  Bearing in mind 
the progressing successes in the fight against human 
trafficking and the adoption of the law against domestic 
violence, USAID can provide valuable assistance.  First, in 
developing and further strengthening mechanisms to prevent 
TIP and domestic violence and secondly by protecting victims 
of both crimes by ensuring availability and usage of 
appropriate and adequate mechanisms to punish offenders.  Our 
specific plans include: 
 
-- Identification of a counterpart at the executive branch of 
GoG who will work DC issues and create a working group to 
discuss and coordinate issues 
 
-- Develop and adopt a state action plan against domestic 
violence which will include a separate line item in the 
budget to provide funding 
 
-- Development of referral mechanisms &
#x000A; 
-- Drafting of legislation to bridge current gaps in the law 
 
-- Creation and approval of minimum standards for development 
of domestic violence victims' shelters and rehabilitation 
projects 
 
-- Raising public awareness 
 
-- Supporting GoG in the development of quarterly and annual 
reporting tools 
 
10.  (U)  The Georgian Government sees its fight against 
domestic violence as a step by step action, which is not only 
oriented on immediate action from its officers, but is also 
oriented on explaining the content of the crime to people and 
helping to change a mindset and mentality.  In order to be 
effective in implementing its long-standing anti- domestic 
violence policies, GoG will need sufficient USG assistance, 
which will be essential in achieving success gradually. 
Drafting legislation to bridge the gaps and tracking 
statistics related to the issue are achievable goals that can 
go far in heightening awareness of the issue. 
TEFFT

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08TBILISI1121, GEORGIAN TALKS WITH ABKHAZ IN SWEDEN:THE FAST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1121 2008-06-27 14:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

O 271400Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9687
INFO AMEMBASSY BERLIN IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 
USMISSION USOSCE IMMEDIATE 
USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001121 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIAN TALKS WITH ABKHAZ IN SWEDEN:THE FAST 
TRACK TO NOWHERE 
 
Classified By: Ambassadot John F. Tefft for reason 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary and Comment.  Temuri Yakobishvili,  Georgian 
State Minister for Reintegration, told the  Ambassador that 
last week,s talks in Sweden between de facto Abkhaz 
representatives yielded no progress  in resolving the 
conflict.  The talks confirmed  Georgian thinking that the 
highest priority of decision makers in Sokhumi remains 
preservation of the status quo.  In his view, the Abkhaz are 
unmotivated by promises from the West and see the Russians as 
the only actors willing and able to follow through on 
promises of economic assistance and security.   Yakobashvili 
outlined the positions of a range of Saakashvili,s inner 
circle and acknowledged that Georgia will stand alone in any 
military confrontation in Abkhazia.  Yakobashvili sees 
Georgia,s options for slowing Russian annexation of Abkhazia 
as dwindling and he also sees the Abkhaz question as 
inextricably linked to discord in the North Caucasus.  He 
speculated that any fighting -- even by guerillas or 
partisans -- could spread quickly to the North Caucasus. The 
Ambassador told Yakobashvili that strategies for military 
action were self-destructive and urged him to find 
longer-term plans to build on support garnered by President 
Saakashvili during his meetings in Europe this month.  End 
summary and comment. 
 
-------------------------------- 
Abkhaz Protecting the Status Quo 
-------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C)  In a frank meeting with Ambassador Tefft on June 
25, Georgia,s State Minister for Reintegration Temuri 
Yakobashvili detailed the talks in Sweden between Georgian 
and de facto Abkhaz representatives the week of June 16th. 
The talks provided his first opportunity to meet face-to-face 
with the Abkhaz and he described the talks as frank and open. 
 He noted that opportunities for informal meetings (mostly 
smoke breaks and meals) created the best conditions for 
discussions.  The minister told the Ambassador that Abkhaz de 
facto foreign minister Shamba,s message was clear, "There is 
nothing we want from you.  We have our independence, even if 
it is quasi-independence.  We know well we will never be 
fully independent.  We can,t rely on the Americans or the 
Europeans.  The Russians are our only option."  However, 
during a dinner, the Abkhaz said that they understood that 
within ten years they would be a part of Georgia.  The Abkhaz 
were emboldened by their view that the Russians successfully 
defeated Ukraine's and Georgia,s MAP aspirations and 
therefore have proved their strength.  During the formal 
sessions, the Abkhaz told the Georgians that if there is a 
Georgian attack in Abkhazia, they will mobilize their 
political and military power to take Samegrelo and Kodori. 
 
3.  (C)  According to Yakobashvili, the Georgian side raised 
a range of proposals including the Free Economic Zone 
proposal for Abkhazia.  The Abkhaz delegation dismissed all 
proposals as unacceptable because they originated from 
Georgia's government.  The Georgians suggested asking 
academic Svante Cornell,s team to draft a concept paper for 
a Free Economic Zone so that it would come from a neutral 
third party.  Yakobashvili believed this concept might have 
had traction, but then Shamba backed away.  Yakobashvili,s 
opinion was that Shamba was ultimately unable to support any 
change in the status quo because he answers to hardline 
constituencies in Sokhumi.  They fear movement of people. 
They do not want de-isolation if it means allowing their 
people to be exposed to life in Georgia, rejecting a Georgian 
offer to permit Abkhaz to drive into Abkhazia.  Given the 
opportunity, the Abkhaz leaders would build a wall around 
Abkhazia.  Yakobashvili,s view was that this desire for 
continued isolation was very Soviet.  In a separate meeting, 
Georgian NSC Secretary Kakha Lomaia echoed Yakobashvili's 
assessment of the talks in Sweden. 
 
4.  (C)  Despite this, the Abkhaz see the Sochi Olympics as 
their opportunity for prosperity and security.  As of July 1, 
the Minister told the Ambassador, a ferry connection between 
Sochi and Akbhazia will begin operation.  He told us his 
office has confirmed the availability of tickets for the 
general public for this ferry. 
 
5.  (C)  Yakobashvili acknowledged the difficulty for the 
Abkhaz side in participating in the meetings.  Each of the 
Abkhaz representatives wanted to be seen as the "hard-liner." 
He speculated that Stanislav Lakoba, chairman of the de 
facto Akbhaz NSC, did not attend because he and Shamba are 
now rivals and he expects Lakoba will run against Shamba in 
the next "presidential" election cycle.  Beyond this 
political rivalry, Yakobashvili said that the Abkhaz side is 
obsessed with talking about the Georgian Abkhaz war of 1992. 
They believe they can repeat their success against Georgia, 
with Moscow,s support. 
 
------------------- 
Follow up in Moscow 
------------------- 
 
6.  (C)  Aft
er the meetings in Stockholm, Yakobashvili 
traveled to Moscow to continue discussions on conflict 
resolution.  During a dinner, he spoke to former Russian FM 
Igor Ivanov and told us he was surprised to learn -- from 
Ivanov himself -- that Ivanov had been a key opinion leader 
within Putin,s government in building anti-Georgian and 
anti-Saakashvili sentiment.  Georgians had long believed him 
to have been a supportive voice. In fact, he encouraged 
Putin's negative tendencies toward Georgia when he headed the 
security council.  Yakobashvili said that it was clear to him 
that the Russians believe they must support the Abkhaz, 
because, if the Russian military does not, volunteers will 
rally to the Abkhaz banner from around the North Caucasus. 
And a surge of volunteers would lead to increased separatism 
in the North Caucasus.  He said Ivanov had convinced Putin 
that they could not allow such a resurgence in these largely 
Muslim-populated areas. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
What,s the Plan? And Who Is Behind It? 
-------------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C)  As the Georgians consider their options for next 
steps, Yakobashvili told us that there are three camps 
within Saakashvili,s circle of advisors.  The "peaceniks" 
(Yakobashvili, NSC Chairman Kakha Lomaia, and Deputy Chairman 
of the Parliament's Defense and Security Committee Nik 
Rurua), those who support military action (not spelled out) 
and those who believe that there is a new opportunity 
presented with a new President in the Kremlin (also not 
named).  Yakobashvili told us that those who support military 
action have been frequently quoting U.S. President Franklin 
Roosevelt about the costs of inaction.  The minister told us 
that there are many ways beyond direct confrontation for 
Georgia to engage militarily -- including guerilla tactics 
and the use of partisans.  When the Ambassador asked 
Yakobashvili to clarify Georgia,s strategy for next steps 
specifically with Russian peacekeepers, the Minister told him 
that Saakashvili has made no decision but was prepared to 
allow the current intense diplomatic cycle to run through 
this summer,s G-8 Summit.  If there is no progress and 
Saakashvili then decides to ask the Russians to leave, 
western leaders will have to face the choice of supporting 
Georgia or the leaders will have to face the idea that 
"losing" Georgia and giving up a beacon of democracy and a 
success story of transformational diplomacy.  To complete his 
negative assessment Yakobashvili said the Georgians have 
given up on the Friends of the SYG formula.  He believes the 
Friends are completely incapable of making progress on 
conflict resolution. 
 
TEFFT

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08TBILISI1072, AFTER ELECTIONS: BURJANADZE ANNOUNCES FOUNDATION,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1072 2008-06-23 04:59 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0640
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1072/01 1750459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230459Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9671
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001072 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: AFTER ELECTIONS: BURJANADZE ANNOUNCES FOUNDATION, 
OPPOSITION TAKES BREAK 
 
REF: A) TBILISI 963, B) TBILISI 1021 
 
1. Summary: On June 17, former Parliamentary Speaker Burjanadze 
announced she is establishing a think-tank called the "Foundation 
for Democratic Development."  Burjanadze said she sees her 
foundation not as a purely analytical, apolitical think-tank, but 
rather as a "new way for her to participate in politics."  On June 
17, the United National Council of Opposition (UNC) announced it 
will "take a time-out" and recess for the summer to make future 
plans.  The Labor party followed the lead of the UNC and their MPs 
submitted their letters of resignation to Parliament (ref B), 
requesting their mandates be cancelled.  Giorgi Targamadze's 
Christian Democratic Movement (CDM) is attending its first 
Parliamentary session on June 20.  During the same session, UNM 
Majoritarian MPs created a parliamentary faction called 
"Majoritarians - Georgian Regions."  End Summary. 
 
2. Comment: Burjanadze's announcement was expected (ref A).  It will 
take some time to see what success her foundation can build.  The 
UNC's decision to stand down has also been coming for several weeks. 
 Whether or not a more cohesive organization and message will emerge 
from the opposition group in September remains to be seen.  Labor's 
and the CDM moves were also expected (ref B).  In its first three 
sessions, Parliament has primarily been addressing housekeeping 
matters.  End comment. 
 
Burjanadze Announces New Foundation 
----------------------------------- 
 
3. During a live TV interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster 
on June 17, Nino Burjanadze broke her two-month long silence and 
announced (as predicted, ref A) she is establishing a think-tank 
called the "Foundation for Democratic Development."  Offering 
balanced criticism of the government and opposition in 
post-revolutionary Georgia, Burjanadze alleged there is much talk 
about existing problems in Georgia but little being done to solve 
them.  Burjanadze said her foundation will provide expert analysis 
of problems and generate recommendations for solutions.  She expects 
her foundation to be very inclusive, representing people with 
different backgrounds and ages. 
 
4. Burjanadze said she sees her foundation not as a purely 
analytical, apolitical think-tank, but rather as a "new way for her 
to participate in politics."  Focusing on the immediate tasks of 
recruiting supporters and financial contributions, Burjanadze did 
not deny having future political ambitions and said she will speak 
about her political plans later.  Media and political reaction to 
Burjanadze's announcement has been mild.  Neither the opposition nor 
ruling party expect her to actively participate in politics anytime 
soon. 
 
United Opposition Takes a Break 
------------------------------- 
 
5. On June 17, the United Opposition Council (UNC) announced it will 
"take a time-out" and recess for the summer to make future plans. 
The decision came at a UNM meeting at the New Rights' party 
headquarters, which turned into a birthday party for New Rightist 
David Saganelidze.  As news cameras rolled, UNC leaders toasted 
Saganelidze, his "personal freedom" as a bachelor, and the UNC's 
"freedom" gained by boycotting parliament and refusing to 
participate in government.  Earlier, the UNC discussed establishing 
an opposition Political Center to "monitor" Parliament.  The UNC 
said it would not consult with other political parties now, and the 
Political Center will be closed to the Christian Democrats and 
others who join Parliament. 
 
6. The UNC adopted a 5-point memorandum submitted by Freedom Party 
leader Konstantine Gamsakhurdia.  The memo called for a new UNC 
structure, cancellation of the three-member political council, 
moving the UNC offices from the New Rights' headquarters, and 
changing the UNC into an umbrella organization for all of the 
opposition.  Gamsakhurdia also demanded a review of the 1992 ouster 
of his father (former President Zviad Gamsakhurdia) and 
investigation of Eduard Shevardnadze's role in it.  Jovial UNC 
members said Gamsakhurdia was too busy to stay for the party, and 
the memorandum could not be considered in his absence.  On 
television, they seemed more interested in the party anyway. 
 
Labor Cancels Party List, 
Turns in Mandates 
------------------------- 
 
7. On June 18 Labor party MPs followed the lead of the UNC and 
submitted their letters of resignation to Parliament (ref B), 
requesting their mandates be cancelled.  Though the format of the 
letter was not technically correct -- it referred to Parliament as 
the UNM headquarters and to Speaker David Bakradze as the head of 
said headquarters -- it was accepted and the Parliament's Procedural 
Committee will make a decision on the request within 7 days. 
 
TBILISI 00001072  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
Christian Democrats Enter Parliament 
------------------------------------ 
 &
#x000A;8. Giorgi Targamadze and his Christian Democrats will attend their 
first Parliamentary session on June 20, as most of the issues 
incorporated in their memorandum (ref B) are to be discussed and 
voted upon.  Targamadze said that the new Parliament and election 
results did not reflect the real mood of society, but his party 
deems it more effective to continue their political struggle in 
Parliament than outside it.  Vice-Speaker Mikheil Machavariani 
welcomed the Christian Democrats' decision and said dissent in 
Parliament is a positive sign. 
 
Majoritarian MPs Create Faction 
------------------------------- 
 
9. UNM Majoritarian MPs created a parliamentary faction called 
"Majoritarians - Georgian Regions" during the June 20 session.  Gogi 
Liparteliani will lead the new faction of 17 members (second largest 
after the UNM faction). 
 
TEFFT

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08TBILISI1066, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1066 2008-06-20 13:16 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4307
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1066/01 1721316
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201316Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9665
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 001066 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: 2008 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING 
 
1. Summary: Pursuant to campaign funding disclosure 
requirements, all four parties that crossed the 5 percent 
election threshold in the May 21 parliamentary elections 
have submitted campaign funding reports to the Central 
Election Commission (CEC).  An audit group contracted by 
the CEC studied the reports and approved them as adequate. 
The United National Movement (UNM), which received 59.18 
percent of votes in the election of proportionally 
distributed seats in Parliament, reported spending GEL 12 
million (USD 8.33 million).  The United Opposition (17.73 
percent of votes) spent GEL 481,800 (USD 334,583). 
Christian Democrats (8.66 percent) spent GEL 241,500 (USD 
167,708), and the Labor Party, GEL 284,000 (USD 197,222). 
The reports do not include spending by individual 
candidates for majoritarian seats in Parliament, thus 
revealing only a portion of the overall campaign financing 
picture.  End Summary. 
 
Election Fund and Mandatory Disclosure Requirement 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
2. The Election Code of Georgia mandates disclosure of 
funds spent by parties and election blocs, and that the CEC 
develop additional procedural requirements.  Information 
concerning campaign contributions is required to be 
reported to the CEC and made publicly available.  The law 
requires political parties to set up an election fund and 
provide an accounting for it.  They must also report all 
goods and services obtained free of charge (at estimated 
market prices).  Free air time received from television and 
radio is exempted from the rule.  Majoritarian candidates, 
special interest groups established by parties and special 
interest groups for election of local self-government 
bodies report voluntarily.  Individual campaign 
contributions are limited to GEL 30,000 (USD 20,833) for 
individuals and GEL 100,000 (USD 69,444) for corporations. 
Election subjects may not use any funds other than their 
election campaign funds.  Foreign contributions from 
citizens or legal entities from foreign countries, persons 
with no citizenship, international organizations and 
movements, non-entrepreneurial legal entities, religious 
organizations and Georgian companies in which the state 
owns a share are prohibited. 
 
3. No later than one month after the publication of 
election results, parties and election blocs must submit to 
the CEC a report on expenditures, together with an audit 
report by and independent auditor, stating the sources of 
the campaign funds and accounting for expenditures. 
Parties and election blocs, who according to preliminary 
data received the necessary number of votes, must report 
not later than eight days after Election Day. 
 
National Movement 
----------------- 
 
4. The United National Movement (UNM), as the ruling party, 
was able to conduct a more lavish campaign than other 
parties, and did not suffer from lack of donors.  The UNM 
reported spending GEL 12 million (USD 8.33 million).  After 
the presidential election, the UNM was the only party that 
disclosed any companies openly supporting its campaign.  52 
companies contributed, including Aldagi BCI (an insurance 
company), Galt & Taggart, Bank of Georgia, Center Point 
(construction), Aword Capital (construction), Teliani (wine 
producer), and Georgian Mint.  The UNM contributed GEL 9.5 
million (USD 6.60 million) from its party funds, 80 percent 
of their total cash spending for the election.  The UNM 
spent only half as much on the parliamentary election as it 
did on the presidential campaign in January, suggesting 
that either the party was confident of victory or that it 
could not afford higher spending.  There is also a 
widespread suspicion among the population, the print media, 
and the opposition that the UNM's actual spending was much 
higher than reported, and that access to administrative 
resources gave the ruling party significant advantage over 
its rivals.  Presentations of new governmental programs, 
especially those with social and economic benefits, were 
timed to coincide with the elections and added the polling 
results of the ruling party. 
 
5. GEL 386,000 (USD 268,055) or 3.2 percent of the UNM's 
spending went to salaries for campaign activists.  GEL 1.1 
million (USD 763,889) or 9 percent was spent on public 
opinion surveys.  The rest was used for purchase of goods 
and services, which includes production of commercials, 
organization of meetings, TV and radio advertisements, and 
production of printed materials. 
 
Christian Democratic Movement 
----------------------------- 
 
TBILISI 00001066  002 OF 003 
 
 
 
6. The Christian Democratic Movement reported donations in 
the amount of GEL 241,570 (USD 167,708).  Corporate 
donations were not reported; 13 individual donors filled 
the purse of the newly created political party.  Individual 
donations ranged in size from GEL 335 (USD 232.64) to the 
maximum GEL 30,000 (USD 20,833).  Top contributors were 
from the party leadership.  However, no contribution was 
disclosed f
rom party leader Giorgi Targamadze. 
 
7. As for spending, 66 percent, or GEL 159 thousand (USD 
110,416), was paid for goods and services, mostly fuel, as 
well as purchase of cell phone cards.  Campaign commercials 
consumed over GEL 26,000 (USD 18,055) or 11 percent, 
billboard and newspaper advertisements cost GEL 11,000 (USD 
7,639), and production of campaign materials such as 
posters, leaflets and brochures took another GEL 38,450 
(USD 26,701) or 16 percent.  TV advertising time purchased 
by the party accounted for GEL 19,000 (USD 13,194).  No 
spending is reported for public opinion polls, election- 
related surveys or campaign advisors. 
 
United Opposition 
----------------- 
 
8. The United Opposition built up GEL 481,800 (USD 334,583) 
in its election fund.  As was the case with other 
opposition parties, all 24 of its donors were private 
individuals.  Prominent members of the opposition coalition 
such as David Gamkrelidze, David Saganelidze, Mamuka 
Katsitadze, Paata Davitaia, Pikria Chikhradze and Irakli 
Iashvili, who were running for the parliamentary seats, 
contributed from GEL 20,000 (USD 13,889) up to the allowed 
maximum of GEL 30,000 (USD 20,833).  However, the list does 
not include Levan Gachechiladze or Goga Khaindrava, two 
wealthy and prominent opposition leaders. 
 
9. The United Opposition's expenditures included printed 
materials (25 percent of total spending).  12 percent was 
spent on ads and commercials; three percent was used for 
billboards and newspaper space, and 19 percent on 
organization of public events and meetings.  Though the 
United Opposition claimed to have a full-scale picture of 
public opinion and party ratings during the election 
campaign period, in fact it spent no more than GEL 510 (USD 
354), or 0.1 percent of its available funds, for canvassing 
public opinion.  Spending patterns disclosed another 
interesting fact: the United Opposition relied on the free 
time provided by the leading channels and did not spend its 
party funds to buy time on the air on the three nationwide 
channels.  It did spend GEL 54,525 (USD 37,864) to put 
commercials on regional TV channels and Tbilisi's local 
Kavkasia TV, the latter accounting for 60 percent of the 
United Opposition's spending for television.  They reported 
no spending on campaign activists.  Most likely the bloc 
relied entirely on volunteers. 
 
10. Compared to the presidential elections, the United 
Opposition's campaign spending decreased by 33 percent. 
Composition of the election bloc has changed.  It does not 
include the Republican Party now, but includes the New 
Rightists who brought with them bigger campaign coffers. 
During the presidential election campaign earlier this 
year, "Gachechiladze's Society", donated 13 percent of the 
United Opposition's total cash contributions.  It is 
unknown whether or not this group still operates as they 
reported no donations for this election. 
 
Labor Party 
----------- 
 
11. Eighteen individual persons, most of them party 
leaders, contributed GEL 283,962 (USD 197,196) to Shalva 
Natelashvili's Labor Party.  However, as usual, none of the 
contributions came from Shalva Natelashvili's own pocket. 
Almost all of Labor's money, 98 percent, was used for 
printing materials, campaign activists were paid GEL 300 
(USD 208).  The party helped to construct a church at 
Kharagauli by contributing GEL 500 (USD 347) from its 
campaign fund.  Apparently, Natelashvili was more 
persuasive with potential donors this time, because Labor's 
funding for the parliamentary election increased eight-fold 
compared to the presidential elections. 
 
Price Per Vote 
-------------- 
 
12. On a per capita basis, the ruling UNM paid the highest 
price to attract voters: GEL 11.5 per voter (still much 
less than the GEL 21.68 (USD 15.05) per voter the UNM spent 
in the presidential election).  Next was Shalva 
 
TBILISI 00001066  003 OF 003 
 
 
Natelashvili's Labor Party, which traditionally claims the 
title of Georgia's poorest party.  It paid GEL 2.15 (USD 
1.49) or 7.7 times more than during the presidential 
election.  The United Opposition and Christian Democrats 
spent only GEL 1.52 (USD 1.05) and GEL 1.56 (USD 1.08) per 
voter, respectively. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

08TBILISI1065, GEORGIANS RELEASE PEACEKEEPERS’ TRUCK, KEEP

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1065 2008-06-20 13:08 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4301
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1065 1721308
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201308Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9664
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 001065 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIANS RELEASE PEACEKEEPERS' TRUCK, KEEP 
AMMUNITION 
 
REF: TBILISI 1031 
 
1.  The Georgian Ministry of Interior announced on June 19 
that it had released the CIS PKF ammunition truck that was 
detained on June 17 (reftel) for unauthorized ammunition 
transfer through the Georgian side of the conflict zone. 
Deputy Minister of Interior Shota Utiashvili said that the 
Ministry of Interior would keep the 20 anti-tank missiles 
seized from the truck until an investigation is completed. 
Utiashvili did not specify when the missiles would be 
released.  Georgian media also reported on June 19 two blasts 
along a section of the Abkhaz railway outside of Sukhumi. 
The blasts occurred approximately nine kilometers north of 
the section where the recently introduced Russian railway 
troops are conducting repairs to the line.  No injuries and 
only minor damage to the line were reported, though Abkhaz 
officials were quick to call the bombing a "terrorist act" 
directed against the Russian railway troops. 
 
2.  On June 20, Georgian media reported that the CIS 
peacekeepers were establishing a checkpoint north of 
Ochimchire, inside the restricted weapons zone.  Media 
analysts speculated that the new base would facilitate 
peacekeeper movement into the Georgian-controlled portion of 
the Kodori gorge.  The United Nations Observer Mission to 
Georgia (UNOMIG) confirmed that a small detachment of the 
newly-installed paratrooper battalion had set up a checkpoint 
in the village of Agu-Bedia, which is north of Ochimchire, 
but still within the restricted weapons zone (and within the 
CIS peacekeeper's mandate).  UNOMIG indicated, however, that 
this small force - 10 peacekeepers, 2 BTR armored personnel 
carriers, and 1 truck - had actually redeployed from 
Akarmara, a village north of Tkvarcheli and much closer to 
Kodori than Agu-Bedia.  A UNOMIG patrol first observed the 
checkpoint in Agu-Bedia on June 12 during a routine patrol 
and reportedly encountered some hostility from the local 
Abkhaz, who demanded the patrol immediately withdraw. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

08TBILISI1031, GEORGIANS SEIZE PEACEKEEPERS’ AMMO TRUCK IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1031 2008-06-18 12:04 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2261
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1031 1701204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181204Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9657
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS TBILISI 001031 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIANS SEIZE PEACEKEEPERS' AMMO TRUCK IN 
ZUGDIDI; ARREST AND THEN RELEASE FOUR PEACEKEEPERS 
 
REF: TBILISI 819 
 
1.  Summary and Comment: On the evening of June 17, Georgian 
police seized an CIS peacekeeping truck carrying ammunition 
and anti-tank missiles traveling from Abkhazia to a 
peacekeeping checkpoint near the Georgian village of Urta, on 
the  Zugdidi side of the conflict zone.  Four peacekeepers 
were detained following a scuffle with local police and 
released two hours later.  Shota Utiashvili, Deputy Minister 
of Interior, said that the peacekeepers were detained for not 
notifying the Georgian side in advance of the weapons 
transfer and for not having the anti-tank missiles on the 
weapons manifest.  Because the anti-tank missiles are 
considered standard, battalion-issued weaponry, their 
presence is not considered a violation of the 1994 Moscow 
Cease-Fire Agreement.  The ammo truck seizure is the second 
incident in a month to arise from a failure of the Russian 
peacekeepers to give advance notice of their movements to the 
Georgian side.  The first was a May 18 incident (reftel) 
resulting in a collision between a CIS PKF truck and a 
private vehicle.  These incidents have turned routine troop 
transfers into tense standoffs with local citizens and 
police, reinforcing the already high negative public opinion 
of the CIS peacekeepers and bolstering calls for their 
removal.  End Summary and Comment. 
 
2.  On June 17, Georgian media reported that Georgian police 
had seized a CIS peacekeeping truck carrying ammunition and 
anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles being transferred from 
Abkhazia to a peacekeeping checkpoint near the Georgian 
village of Urta, on the Zugdidi side of the conflict zone. 
Georgian officials later confirmed that there were no 
anti-aircraft missiles in the truck.  Four peacekeepers were 
arrested following a brief scuffle with police and released 
two hours later, while the truck remains in Georgian custody. 
 Mamuka Kurashvili, Commander of Georgian peacekeeping 
operations, said in a television interview that the Russian 
weapons transfer was a violation of "all agreements" because 
the Russian side failed to notify the Georgians in advance. 
He said he suspected the Russians of trying to establish a 
military base in the village of Urta. 
 
3.  Deputy Minister of Interior Shota Utiashvili confirmed 
that Georgian police had seized the truck and briefly 
detained four peacekeepers.  The peacekeepers were held for 
two hours and then released without further incident.  He 
said that the Russians had failed to notify the Georgians in 
advance of the weapons transfer, and the anti-tank missiles 
were not listed on the weapons manifest, both violations of 
established practice between the Georgian and Russian sides. 
The presence of the anti-tank missiles themselves does not 
constitute a violation of the 1994 Moscow Agreement, he said, 
because they are considered to be standard, battalion-issued 
weaponry.  He noted that the truck would likely be released 
later today, June 18, following the completion of an MoIA 
investigation into the matter. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

08TBILISI1030, GEORGIANS SEIZE PEACEKEEPERS’ AMMO TRUCK IN ZUGDIDI

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1030 2008-06-18 12:04 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2260
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1030 1701204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181204Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9656
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS TBILISI 001030 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIANS SEIZE PEACEKEEPERS' AMMO TRUCK IN ZUGDIDI 
 
REF: TBILISI 819 
 
1.  Summary and Comment: On the evening of June 17, Georgian 
police seized an CIS peacekeeping truck carrying ammunition 
and anti-tank missiles traveling from Abkhazia to a 
peacekeeping checkpoint near the Georgian village of Urta, on 
the  Zugdidi side of the conflict zone.  Four peacekeepers 
were detained following a scuffle with local police and 
released two hours later.  Shota Utiashvili, Deputy Minister 
of Interior, said that the peacekeepers were detained for not 
notifying the Georgian side in advance of the weapons 
transfer and for not having the anti-tank missiles on the 
weapons manifest.  Because the anti-tank missiles are 
considered standard, battalion-issued weaponry, their 
presence is not considered a violation of the 1994 Moscow 
Cease-Fire Agreement.  The ammo truck seizure is the second 
incident in a month to arise from a failure of the Russian 
peacekeepers to give advance notice of their movements to the 
Georgian side.  The first was a May 18 incident (reftel) 
resulting in a collision between a CIS PKF truck and a 
private vehicle.  These incidents have turned routine troop 
transfers into tense standoffs with local citizens and 
police, reinforcing the already high negative public opinion 
of the CIS peacekeepers and bolstering calls for their 
removal.  End Summary and Comment. 
 
2.  On June 17, Georgian media reported that Georgian police 
had seized a CIS peacekeeping truck carrying ammunition and 
anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles being transferred from 
Abkhazia to a peacekeeping checkpoint near the Georgian 
village of Urta, on the Zugdidi side of the conflict zone. 
Georgian officials later confirmed that there were no 
anti-aircraft missiles in the truck.  Four peacekeepers were 
arrested following a brief scuffle with police and released 
two hours later, while the truck remains in Georgian custody. 
 Mamuka Kurashvili, Commander of Georgian peacekeeping 
operations, said in a television interview that the Russian 
weapons transfer was a violation of "all agreements" because 
the Russian side failed to notify the Georgians in advance. 
He said he suspected the Russians of trying to establish a 
military base in the village of Urta. 
 
3.  Deputy Minister of Interior Shota Utiashvili confirmed 
that Georgian police had seized the truck and briefly 
detained four peacekeepers.  The peacekeepers were held for 
two hours and then released without further incident.  He 
said that the Russians had failed to notify the Georgians in 
advance of the weapons transfer, and the anti-tank missiles 
were not listed on the weapons manifest, both violations of 
established practice between the Georgian and Russian sides. 
The presence of the anti-tank missiles themselves does not 
constitute a violation of the 1994 Moscow Agreement, he said, 
because they are considered to be standard, battalion-issued 
weaponry.  He noted that the truck would likely be released 
later today, June 18, following the completion of an MoIA 
investigation into the matter. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

08TBILISI1029, GEORGIAN COAST GUARD READY FOR COOPERATION WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1029 2008-06-18 04:55 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

R 180455Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9655
INFO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS TBILISI 001029 
 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC, EEB/TRA/OTP AND PM/ISO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EWWT EAID PREL MARR SNAR GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIAN COAST GUARD READY FOR COOPERATION WITH 
GLOBAL MARITIME PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE 
 
REF: STATE 50488 
 
1.  On June 16, Embassy Econoff presented the concept of the 
Global Maritime Partnership initiative to Ramaz Papidze, Head 
of the Resources Management Division of the Georgian Coast 
Guard Department.  The Georgian Coast Guard is an organ of 
the Border Police, under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 
and has responsibility for the security of Georgia's Black 
Sea coastline and the ports of Batumi and Poti.  Georgia's 
Maritime Transport Department, under the Ministry of Economic 
Development, has responsibility for safety, navigation and 
vessel registration, among other duties.  The Georgian Navy, 
under the Ministry of Defense, has a mission similar to that 
of the Coast Guard, but its state of readiness is not as 
high. 
 
2.  Papidze said that he finds the idea of the Global 
Maritime Partnership interesting and is ready to commit the 
Coast Guard to cooperation.  He went on to explain certain 
problems in Georgia's maritime security regime.  He said that 
cooperation with the administration of the ports of Poti and 
Batumi, as well as with the other agencies of the GOG charged 
with maritime responsibilities, is weak.  The Coast Guard has 
responsibility for surveillance of Georgia's territorial 
waters, search and rescue, safety at sea, and cooperation 
with international and foreign authorities on such issues. 
The Coast Guard has received significant amounts of training 
from the United States and other countries, and is the best 
prepared agency in the Georgian government in terms of 
maritime security.  The USG has also funded construction of 
four radar stations along Georgia's Black Sea coast.  Plans 
are under way for a joint maritime information center that 
would integrate information management for the Coast Guard, 
Navy, Maritime Transport and Border Guards.  Papidze was 
concerned about Georgia's ability to inspect cargo and 
containers, and detect drug smuggling.  He would like to see 
better container security at Georgia's ports.  A European 
Union assistance program is expected to supply Georgia with 
trained dogs that will help improve the situation. 
 
3.  From the conversation with Papidze, we gained the 
impression that cooperation in the areas of port and cargo 
security, counternarcotics and enhancement of GOG interagency 
cooperation would be interesting areas to pursue with Georgia 
under the Global Maritime Partnership initiative.  Papidze 
agreed to serve as a contact for the initiative within the 
GOG.  His telephone number is (995) 32 370 904, and his 
e-mail is ramazipap@yahoo.com. 
 
4.  Post notes that Rear Admiral Jody Breckenridge, Director 
of the Strategic Transformation Team of the U.S. Coast Guard, 
will be visiting Batumi on June 25-29 in connection with the 
tenth anniversary of the Georgian Coast Guard.  Papidze said 
that the GOG will also be hosting conference on integrated 
border management with the participation of all Black Sea 
countries, at which the participants will share experiences 
and discuss next steps to improve border security in the 
region.  The visit by Rear Admiral Breckenridge and the 
conference could provide opportunities to discuss ideas for 
specific Global Maritime Partnership programs. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

08TBILISI1028, ACTION CABLE RESPONSE REGARDING PRESS STATEMENT ON

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1028 2008-06-17 14:11 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1367
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1028 1691411
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171411Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9654
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 001028 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EUN PHUM PREL
SUBJECT: ACTION CABLE RESPONSE REGARDING PRESS STATEMENT ON 
US-EU PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE DECLARATION 
 
REF: SECSTATE 63968 
 
(U) Reftel, on June 17, Poloff expressed the U.S. 
appreciation for Georgia's support for the prisoners of 
conscience declaration to Alexander Nalbandov, Director of 
the Department of International Organizations, Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs and provided him with a courtesy copy of the 
draft press statement. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

08TBILISI1026, IMEDI TELEVISION RECOGNIZES THE CHANGED

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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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. #08TBILISI1026.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1026 2008-06-16 13:54 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0378
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1026/01 1681354
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 161354Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9650
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001026 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, EUR/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/16/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM KPAO GG
SUBJECT: IMEDI TELEVISION RECOGNIZES THE CHANGED 
ENVIRONMENT AND CHANGES WITH THE TIMES 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 1. (C) Summary. Imedi television - once the voice of the 
opposition in Georgia - has resumed broadcasting, but 
currently only broadcasts entertainment programming.  Emboff 
met with station general manager and director of programming 
on June 10, 2008 to discuss when the station would restart 
news broadcasts, the recent management changes at Imedi 
Radio, their relations with Joseph Kay (the new owner of 
Imedi), and to get their assessment of recent political and 
journalistic developments in the country.  In their view 
there is a new reality in Georgia: the days of widespread, 
serious opposition to the government are over, although some 
members of the opposition have not realized this fact.  Imedi 
is prepared to work in this new environment. Even in their 
limited current role, Imedi is already thriving and expects 
to continue to do well, while recognizing their new 
limitations.  End summary. 
 
"We still have not been paid" 
----------------------------- 
2. (C) Emboff met with Bidzina Baratashvili, Imedi's general 
manager, and Davit Gogichaishvili, Imedi's new programming 
manager (a Muskie program alumnus, who also runs an 
independant production company) on June 10, 2008.  When asked 
about recent press reports that Imedi could begin 
broadcasting news within the week, they replied that they 
have not been able to completely repair the damage caused in 
the November 7, 2007 raid on Imedi by Ministry of Interior 
forces because the government has not yet paid for the 
damages caused in the raid.  During negotiations with 
NewsCorp Europe executives and the government in late 
November, before Imedi briefly reopended, the government 
agreed to replace damaged equipment, but there was no 
detailed settlement, just an agreement to settle the claims. 
Now NewsCorp is no longer involved in the station, and there 
is a new owner (former owner Badri Patarkatsishvili died from 
a Febrary 14, 2008 heart attack in his London home).  Imedi 
management is not certain when they will be paid for the 
damages. 
 
3. (C) A further complication is that the agreement that 
Imedi had with the government is only oral.  All negotiations 
with the government were couched in the allegorical terms of 
rugby teams, with the wallabees (NewsCorp and Imedi) and the 
lelos (the Government of Georgia) agreeing on certain terms 
and conditions, but even then no final agreement was ever 
signed after the government learned that NewsCorp did not own 
any stake in Imedi. 
 
4. (C) Imedi has tried to receive compensation from the 
Ministry of the Interior without success, and has written to 
President Saakashvili directly.  Baratashvili asked the 
Embassy to raise this issue with the GoG, since the USG 
played a vital role in the original discussions to reopen 
Imedi.  Even without these funds they may be able to resume 
broadcasting, but the new owner has been only putting money 
slowly into Imedi.  (Comment:  In response, the DCM raised 
the issue with the MOIA and was informed that the Prosecutor 
General's Office is the appropriate point of contact.  The 
PG's Office will provide us with the responsible official and 
we will pass to Imedi.  End comment.) 
 
"NewsCorp looks bad, and it is all because of Imedi" 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
5. (C) Baratashvili was quite critical of the NewCorp 
leadership and said that now he can only conclude the worst 
conspiracy theories for why NewsCorp ever got involved in 
Imedi in the first place.  He pointed out that the entire 
NewsCorp Europe staff has been demoted or fired, and claimed 
that the reputation of NewsCorp within the broadcasting world 
has taken a blow, strictly because of the Imedi situation. 
He confirmed that NewsCorp never invested in Imedi, and never 
provided them any real direction or training.  Lewis 
Robertson, the head of NewsCorp Caucasus, was ineffective and 
unaware of what happened at Imedi.  According to Baratashvili 
NewsCorp functioned largely as a cover for Patarkatsishvili 
with the government, and he saw no benefit to NewsCorp in the 
arrangement.  He speculated that NewsCorp was acting on 
Berezovsky's behalf, observing that perhaps the GoG's 
conspiracy theories were "not really that far off base". 
Martin Pompadour, the former head of NewsCorp Europe has been 
demoted to running NewsCorp Russia's radio network and 
outdoor advertising company (which they reportedly are trying 
to sell). 
 
"Kay is the owner, that is for sure" 
------------------------------------ 
6. (C) When asked about the new owner of Imedi, Amcit 
businessman Joseph Kay, Baratashvili and Gogichaishvili 
 
TBILISI 00001026  002 OF 002 
 
 
confirmed that he is paying Imedi salaries and has paid off 
station debts.  In their view the lawsuits against Kay by the 
family of Patarkatsishvili are baseless and "will go nowhere 
in this country".  Kay is largely an absent
ee owner, but does 
have a lot of money and is very interested in running Imedi 
as a profitable business.  Baratashvili said that 
Patarkatsishvili could pour 4 Million dollars a month into 
Imedi, but Kay won't because he is not interested in building 
a political empire. 
 
7. (C) On his last trip to the Imedi studios Kay fired the 
head of top-rated Imedi Radio, which had remained the most 
opposition friendly national medium during the parliamentary 
election.  Kay appointed the former press spokesman for Davit 
Tkeshelashvili, the Minister of the Regions, in her stead. 
In meetings with the radio journalists afterwards Kay and the 
new Director assured staffers that the editorial line of 
Imedi Radio will not be changed.  Baratashvili observed that 
things have changed in Georgia, and predicted a sort of 
"creeping annexation" of Radio Imedi - "just listen in six 
months and you will mostly just hear music". 
 
"Why should I bother broadcasting news, we are first" 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
8. (C) Baratashvili shared the latest television ratings for 
Georgia with the Emboff.  Currently Imedi is running a three 
year old Venezuelan soap opera (Wildcat) in the 9:00 pm prime 
time slot, against Kurieri, Rustavi 2's news program. 
Strikingly, in the most recent ratings they are beating 
Rustavi 2 by more than a two to one margin in viewership. 
Georgian Public Broadcasting is watched by 6 percent of the 
viewing audience, and Mze by 2 percent, so even though they 
are nationwide stations their current viewership is 
negligible.  Baratashvili said that "News production is 
expensive, and frankly why should I bother?", but the station 
is firmly committed to broadcasting the news again.  They 
have retained a cadre of news braodcasters and will try to 
promote from that group rather than hiring new journalists. 
They do intend to offer shorter newscasts, 45 minutes long, 
instead of the 100 minute telecasts that are often the norm 
in Georgia.  Gogichaishvili plans to schedule a political 
talk show in the fall, but one that would only run one time 
per week, and on a variety of themes that are not strictly 
political.  They observed that the public seems to be tired 
of political upheaval, as was reflected in the most recent 
election results. 
 
"The opposition ended on February 14th" 
--------------------------------------- 
9. (C) In a comment on the Parliamentary elections, and the 
general state of the opposition in Georgia, Baratashvili gave 
his opinion that Patarkatsishvili had been financing the 
opposiiton and directing their actions.  Upon his death the 
opposition not only lost any financial base, but also lost 
the only person that seemed aware of how to operate 
politically in Georgia.  "From that point on they were 
hopeless and lost".  Baratashvili is confident that Imedi can 
survive in Georgia, but only as it understands the new 
realities. Of the current opposition leaders Giorgi 
Targamadze alone understands the new situation, according to 
Baratashvili. 
 
10. (C) Comment.  Prior to their November 7, 2007 shutdown 
Imedi television functioned in some ways as the general 
headquarters of the opposition in Georgia.  Imedi gave them 
ready access to the public, and at times shaped their 
message.  Rustavi 2 and Mze continue to show very strong 
loyalty towards the government in their editorial line. 
While it is good that Imedi will resume news broadcasts, it 
is uncertain whether it will represent an alternate 
viewpoint.   This is unfortunate for the development of 
democracy in Georgia.  One bright spot may be that Georgian 
Public Broadcasting has made serious steps toward presenting 
a more balanced view and has opposition representation on 
their board.  Baratashvili observed with somewhat bitter 
irony that it is very sad when a new group speaking out for 
journalistic freedom is led by Mamuka Ghlonti - a cable tv 
producer of music videos - and when Ghlonti publishes 
protests signed only by a handful of regional print 
journalists. End Comment. 
 
TEFFT

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