Georgia

  • Azerbaijan Sentences Investigative Reporter to Six Years

    Afgan Mukhtarli, the Azerbaijan journalist who last year disappeared from a Tbilisi street and was next seen in a Baku prison, was sentenced to six years in Azerbaijani prisons on Friday for illegally crossing the border with 10,000 of undeclared euros and assaulting a border guard.

  • Georgian Court Sentences Saakashvili to Three Years

    A Georgian court sentenced former president Mikheil Saakashvili in absentia to three years in prison for abusing his pardon powers in a high-profile murder case, The New York Times reported Friday.

  • Azeri Journalist Denied House Arrest After Family Tragedy

    More than a month into the controversial trial of journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, the Azerbaijan court denied his request to attend the funeral of his sister and her two children and be released to house arrest so he could better deal with his loss.

  • New Georgian Lottery Co-Owner Has Bulgarian Crime Links

    When the Georgian National Lottery resumes operation next year, it will be owned by two experienced businessmen. Only one of them is nicknamed “The Skull.”

    Vasil Bozhkov, nicknamed “The Skull” because of the allegedly unusual shape of his head now one of the co-owners of the Georgian National Lottery. (Credit: Bulphoto)Vasil Bozhkov, nicknamed “The Skull” because of the allegedly unusual shape of his head now one of the co-owners of the Georgian National Lottery. (Credit: Bulphoto)

  • Azerbaijan: Judge And Journalist Clash in Court

    An Azerbaijani journalist who disappeared in May off the streets near his home in Tbilisi, Georgia, and was next seen in custody in his native Azerbaijan, was put on trial Thursday for allegedly crossing the border illegally, carrying € 10,000 in undeclared currency, and resisting border guards, iFact.ge reported.

  • Favoritism Shears Competitors in Georgian Sheep Industry

    Beka Gonashvili's love for Georgian folk music led him into the sheep export business nearly a decade ago. But he’s singing a sad song now, claiming that government-connected companies have driven him out of what had been a lucrative market.

    Herds of sheep in Georgia's mountainous Tusheti region (Photo: Studio Monitor)Herds of sheep in Georgia's mountainous Tusheti region. (Photo: Studio Monitor)

  • Budget Is Big Loser in Georgian State Lottery

    Six years ago, the young brother-in-law of Davit Kezerashvili, Georgia’s former (and now fugitive) Minister of Defense, gave his nation an unusual gift.

    Sporadic lottery player David Pantsulaia, 65, buys a Georgian lottery ticket at a kiosk on Chavchavadze Avenue in Tbilisi. He says he dreams of winning the jackpot. (Photo: Tatuli Omiadze, iFact.ge)Sporadic lottery player David Pantsulaia, 65, buys a Georgian lottery ticket at a kiosk on Chavchavadze Avenue in Tbilisi. He says he dreams of winning the jackpot. (Photo: Tatuli Omiadze, iFact.ge)

  • Lithuanian MPs to Azerbaijan: Be Good to Detained Journalists

    Lithuanian parliament members urged on Wednesday the Azeri government to respect the human rights of two detained journalists and allow international monitors to observe their cases.

  • Azerbaijan Detains Journalist After Violent Cross-border Abduction

    Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist, Afgan Mukhtarli, was kidnapped Monday evening in Tbilisi, Georgia, and reappeared in custody in Baku, Azerbaijan, beaten up and charged with smuggling and illegally crossing the border, his lawyer claims.

  • Allegedly Fixed and Suspicious Matches

    The following information was compiled from court testimony and reports of the Georgian Football Federation investigating allegations of match fixing between 2014 and 2016.

  • Match Fixing Plagues Georgian Football

    In the past three years, investigators say at least 10 matches in the Republic of Georgia's football league have either been fixed or have shown extremely suspicious betting patterns. Thousands of dollars have been wagered online in both Georgia and worldwide on sleepy Second Division matches often attended by fewer than 50 people.

    One of eight Georgian referees arrested for match fixing.One of the eight Georgian referees arrested for match-fixing. Watchdogs say Georgia notorious for throwing matches. (Photo courtesy of Georgian police)

  • Greece: Police Bust Georgian-Dominated Burglary Ring

    Police in Athens said this week they have “managed to dismantle” a foreign crime ring alleged to be behind nearly 140 burglaries in the country since 2010.

  • Georgia: Five Arrested For Attempting to Sell Uranium

    Authorities arrested five men who were charged with trying to sell uranium, just 10 days after police announced arrests in a similar case, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.

  • Georgia: Constitutional Court Says Surveillance Unconstitutional

    Georgia’s Constitutional Court ruled last week for law changes on surveillance, saying the current unrestricted access the security agency has to telecom operator networks is unconstitutional, daily news site civil.ge said.

  • Georgia: Six Arrested for Attempting to Sell $200 Mil in Uranium

    Georgian state security services said Monday they’ve detained six suspects for allegedly trying to sell radioactive uranium-238 for US$ 200 million, local news site Civil.ge said.

  • Credit Suisse Accused in Multimillion Dollar Fraud, $15 Billion Money Laundering

    Swiss prosecutors have charged an ex-Credit Suisse wealth manager with fraud, misappropriation and criminal mismanagement, Bloomberg reported. The bank also faces a money laundering probe in Italy, Reuters said.

  • Land Grab Penalties Forgiven

    The winner of a $182 million land auction was supposed to repair this cable car system from downtown Tbilisi to a hillside lake. The work was never done.A Republic of Georgia government program to sell valuable public land for below-market or token prices to encourage development has turned into a land grab for politically connected individuals who have either not met or significantly negotiated down conditions of the program.

  • Saving Money at a Natural Gas Pump Costs Lives

    cars in lineKoba Jikia was just doing his job, pumping natural gas into cars at a rural filling station in the Republic of Georgia.

    Then a car pulled up that had an illegal, homemade gas cylinder. As the 32-year-old Jikia began filling the tank, it exploded. The force of the explosion was so strong, it blew the tank into Jikia and his arms and legs were ripped from his body and his heart was pushed out through his back.

  • Georgia: Upheaval At Top TV Station As Managers Suspended

    Top management at Rustavi 2, the most popular television station in Georgia, has been ordered by a judge to step down to make way for new interim bosses, but the old bosses say they’re not going anywhere.

    Nika Gvaramia, who until Thursday was the station’s general director, and Kakha Damenia, the chief financial officer, dug in their heels when they learned of the Tbilisi City Court order late Thursday night.

  • Official Car Smuggled Drugs, But Nobody Seemed to Care

    1 arrest areaThe zone just past the border entry from Turkey to Georgia where political operative Kakha Kividze was arrested on narcotics charges.When a Hyundai sedan assigned to the chairman of the Batumi City Council was involved in a middle-of-the-night drug arrest at the Turkey-Georgia border three years ago, the council chairman was allowed to walk away.