Tbilisi City Court sentenced former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to eight years in prison in absentia on Thursday, commuted to six years due to a 2012 amnesty, for ordering the attack on businessman and opposition MP Valeri Gelashvili in 2005. Saakashvili was found guilty on two counts: exceeding his official authorities with the application of violence and arms, and organising intentional damage that afflicted grave bodily harm dangerous to one’s life, irreversibly altering one’s face. The Court also banned him from public office for two years and three months. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has met with two of the leading figures in anti-government protests currently being held in Tbilisi. Kvirikashvili met separately with the parents of Davit Saralidze — one of the teenagers killed in a school brawl last December — and Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the father of a 19-year-old boy killed by security forces in Pankisi.
The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, has suggested Georgia should ‘of course […] have contacts with civil authorities’ in Abkhazia, and possibly in South Ossetia. He supported Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s appeal to Russia to improve relations and calling for ‘direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and the Ossetians’. Kvirikashvili has come under intense criticism from the opposition since making the appeal last week.
One of the outcomes of the stark polarisation of news media globally is that people tend to align to the media outlets which resonate most with their ideological beliefs. In most cases, consumption of a particular ideological media source can only reinforce one’s beliefs, which might lead to an even further polarisation of the audience. These patterns can be characteristic of mass media in contexts as different as, for instance, the United States and Lebanon. As the data from the December 2017 CRRC/NDI survey shows, people in Georgia also appear to place more trust in media that aligns with their political beliefs. [Read more…]