Saturday, April 30, 2011

WIll EU blind support of Georgian trigger new conflict in South Ossetia?

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 30, 2011

EU support of Georgian claims may trigger new conflict - South Ossetia

Mowcow: Comments by EU's top diplomat Catherine Ashton which has backed Georgia's groundless territorial claims to South Ossetia may incite Georgia into new acts of aggression, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia said on Saturday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was visiting the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia earlier this week without the permission of Georgian authorities. The European Union on Thursday condemned the visit.

"The European Union notes with concern that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, has paid a visit to the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia without prior consent of the Georgian authorities," Ashton said.

"Signs of support from the West, like Mrs. Ashton's ones, which are addressed to the 'fighters for Georgia's territorial integrity' in fact incite them to a new conflict," the South Ossetian comment said.

"The time is ripe for the West to draw lessons from the realities which arose more than twenty years ago, and stop deceiving themselves," the document said.

"Only owing to Russia the people of South Ossetia have preserved and are now building and developing their country. Russia recognized the Republic of South Ossetia and is now developing relations with it on an internationally accepted base. The development of bilateral ties stipulates close cooperation, including reciprocal official and working visits," Ossetia's ministry said.

Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after a five-day war in 2008 and has since been the guarantor of their security, deploying thousands of troops and border guards to the tiny republics.

-- - Accessible with your email software                           or over the web

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Georgian authorites turned blind eye to cold bloodied murder of 28-year old man

COUNCIL OF EUROPE PRESS (Conseil de l'Europe) : [image: Press Release - Council of Europe - European Court of Human Rights] <> *T +33(0)390214208 **** ***** Ref. 366(2011) 26.04.2011 *Georgian authorities did not investigate effectively the kidnapping and killing of 28-year old man* In today’s Chamber judgment in the case Enukidze and Girgvliani v. Georgia(application no. 25091/07), which is not final (1), the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been: * * Violations of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 38 (obligation to cooperate with the Court) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the abduction, beating and killing, on a winter night in 2006, of a 28-year old man by a group of senior law enforcement officers and the lack of an effective investigation and appropriate punishment. *Principal facts* The applicants are two Georgian nationals: Ms Enukidze who was born in 1950 and died in 2007; and Mr Girgvliani who was born in 1956 and lives in Tbilisi, Georgia. They are the parents of Sandro Girgvliani who was beaten, wounded and died on 28 January 2006 after leaving the Café Chardin in Tbilisi. Shortly after 1 a.m. on 28 January 2006, Sandro Girgvliani went with a male friend to the Café Chardin, apparently to see a lady he was courting at the time. She happened to be sitting at a table together with a number of well-known senior officials from the Ministry of Interior, among whom was also the Minister of the Interior’s wife. Sandro Girgvliani spoke to his lady friend, who had temporarily sat at his table, expressing displeasure to see her in the company of unknown men, and agreed with her that she join him later that night. He apparently also spoke to her in dismissive terms at least about the Ministry of Interior’s spokesman who was in the group of Ministry-related friends. Sandro Girgvliani and his male friend left the café about an hour after they had arrived. According to Sandro Girgvliani’s friend, who is still alive, while walking towards the main road outside the café they were forcefully pushed into a silver Mercedes and driven away to a cemetery outside Tbilisi. There the two young men were made to strip and were severely beaten, separately and at a distance from each other, by four unknown people who eventually left. Sandro Girgvliani’s friend managed to get up at some point, did not see Sandro Girgvliani anywhere and made his way to a service station from where he called the police a few hours later, once he felt able to speak and borrow a passer-by’s mobile phone. Sandro Girgvliani’s body, naked from the waist up and covered with many wounds and lesions, including 12 knife cuts on his throat, was found at about 3 p.m. lying in the snow in the woods near the cemetery in Okrokana, a suburb of Tbilisi, 6.3 km from the Café Chardin. A criminal investigation was opened the same day by the Ministry of the Interior. A number of investigative steps were carried out, including: an autopsy of Sandro Girgvliani’s body; questioning of witnesses, including Sandro Girgvliani’s beaten friend; a search for all silver Mercedes cars throughout Tbilisi; collecting from the mobile phone operators lists of mobile phone numbers which had been in communication during the night of 28 January 2006 around the areas under investigation; and, the seizure of video recordings made by a surveillance camera at a private home near the Okrokana cemetery. In March 2006, the case was taken away from the Ministry of the Interior and handed over to Tbilisi City Prosecutor’s Office. Four men were arrested, all senior officers of the Ministry of the Interior, on suspicion of abducting and assaulting Sandro Girgvliani and his friend. They were placed for a few months in the same cell, despite a legal provision making that against the law. The investigation concluded that, on the night in question, the suspects were going to the café to join the group of Ministry friends. They used a silver Mercedes parked in the Ministry’s courtyard. They came across Sandro Girgvliani as he was leaving the café and insulting their colleagues. In retaliation, they abducted Sandro Girgvliani and the male friend with whom he was leaving the café and beat them up. The four officials were charged with causing death by intentional wounding and premeditated unlawful confinement by a group using life-threatening violence. A list of “fourteen items of evidence” gathered by the investigating authorities was appended to the bill of indictment. Sandro Girgvliani’s parents applied on a number of occasions, including to the Georgian Supreme Court, for access to that evidence, but it was never granted. They were also left in an informational vacuum as regards the progress of the investigation. The applicants made numerous unsuccessful requests to the courts to have specific items of the collected evidence examined in public and with the participation of the parties. The courts found the accused guilty of all but one charges, and sentenced one of them, the first deputy director of constitutional security of the Ministry of Interior, to seven-and-a-half years imprisonment, and the other three to spend six and a half years in prison. Following a presidential pardon in November 2008, their remaining sentences were reduced by one half. In September 2009 they were released on parole. *Complaints, procedure and composition of the Court* Relying mainly on Articles 2 and 38, the applicants complained that their son had been killed by Ministry of Interior officials and no adequate investigation had been carried out into the killing. The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 11 June 2007. Judgment was given by a Chamber of seven, composed as follows: Françoise Tulkens (Belgium), President, Ireneu Cabral Barreto (Portugal), Vladimiro Zagrebelsky (Italy), Danutė Jočienė (Lithuania), Dragoljub Popović (Serbia), András Sajó (Hungary), judges, Irakli Adeishvili (Georgia), ad hoc Judge, and also Stanley Naismith, Section Registrar. *Decision of the Court* *Article 2 (investigation)* The Court recalled that States were obliged, under Article 2 of the Convention, to secure people’s right to life by putting in place effective criminal-laws (as a deferral against crime) and law-enforcement machinery (for the prevention, suppression and punishment of the perpertrators). In addition, States had to conduct an effective official investigation when people had been killed, irrespective of whether the perpetrators were private individuals, official figures, or unknown. While it had been undisputed that an investigation had been carried out into Sandro’s assault and killing, the Court found that it had lacked integrity and efficiency, which had irreparably undermined its effectiveness, for the reasons outlined below. Despite circumstances implicating Ministry of Interior officials in the case from an early stage of the investigation, the same Ministry remained in charge of the investigation for a significant period of time – between January and March 2006. During that period the Ministry had conducted numerous important investigative steps. The Court was particularly struck by the institutional connection and even hierarchical subordination between the implicated senior Ministry officers and the investigators, given that one of the Ministry-related friends occupying the table in the café was the direct hierarchical superior of both the suspects and the investigators. As regards the part of the investigation carried out by the prosecution authorities, the Court noted a number of serious omissions, the main one being the refusal to allow the applicants to be involved in the investigation. In addition: a number of potential witnesses had not been identified or questioned, the version of the accused as to what had happened had been accepted on its face by the authorities, and important items of evidence had either not been collected at all, or disclosed in the domestic proceedings or before the Court. The Court found that the prosecution authority had been misleading in the conduct of the investigation. Finally, during the trial, the applicants had been in a clearly disadvantageous position compared to the accused who had had unrestricted access to the case materials. As a result, Sandro’s parents had not had sufficient time and facilities to study the file and had been consequently deprived of the opportunity to prepare their position and participate effectively in the trial. The Court found particularly regrettable that the Georgian courts had disregarded the applicants’ allegation that the investigative authorities had destroyed or concealed evidence as they had introduced in the criminal file only a selection of the calls records made and received by the perpetrators, while they had obtained the information from the mobile phone operators in its entirety. The Court emphasised that such a selective approach was unacceptable because effective investigations had to be based on a thorough and impartial analysis of all relevant elements. Examining further the punishment given to the four perpetrators, namely the prison sentences and the way they had been imposed in practice, the Court held that it had been inadequate. Looking in particular at the prison sentences, the Court found that the domestic courts had not accounted for the cruel, life-threatening inhuman treatment to which Sandro Girgvliani had been subjected. As regards the pardon granted to them in November 2008, and their subsequent release on license, that had been too lenient and unreasonably generous. The Court stressed that States had to be all the more stringent when punishing their law-enforcement officers convicted of killing someone, in order to combat the sense of impunity. Summarising its findings, the Court noted with particular concern how the different branches of State power – including the Ministry of the Interior, the prosecution authority, the domestic courts and the President of Georgia– had all acted in concert in preventing justice from being done in that gruesome homicide case. In conclusion, the Court found a violation of Article 2 as a result of the Georgian authorities’ failure to carry out an effective investigation into Sandro Girgvliani’s death. *Article 2 (killing)* The Court found that the convicted perpetrators had acted in their personal capacity and their acts had not been connected to their status as officials. Therefore, their conduct could not attract the entire State’s international responsibility for the killing. *Article 38 (authorities’ obligation to cooperate with the Court)* The Georgian Government had been late, and had partly failed, to submit a number of requested items of evidence to the Court, without providing convincing reasons for it. That led the Court to conclude that the authorities had not complied with their obligations to furnish all necessary facilities to the Court, in violation of Article 38. *Article 41* Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the Court held that Georgia was to pay Sandro Girgvliani’s father (the mother having died in the meantime) 50,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, EUR 388 for costs and expenses. *Separate opinions* Judges Cabral Bareto, Jočienė and Popović expressed a joint partly dissenting opinion, and Judge Adeishvili expressed a separate partly dissenting opinion. These opinions are annexed to the judgment. The judgment is available only in English. (1) Under Articles 43 and 44 of the Convention, this Chamber judgment is not final. During the three-month period following its delivery, any party may request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber of the Court. If such a request is made, a panel of five judges considers whether the case deserves further examination. In that event, the Grand Chamber will hear the case and deliver a final judgment. If the referral request is refused, the Chamber judgment will become final on that day. Once a judgment becomes final, it is transmitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for supervision of its execution. Further information about the execution process can be found here: ** This press release is a document produced by the Registry. It does not bind the Court. Decisions, judgments and further information about the Court can be found on its Internet site <>. To receive the Court’s press releases, please subscribe to the Court’s RSS feeds <>. Press contacts <> | tel: +33 3 90 21 42 08 Kristina Pencheva-Malinowski (tel: + 33 3 88 41 35 70) Emma Hellyer (tel: + 33 3 90 21 42 15) Tracey Turner-Tretz (tel: + 33 3 88 41 35 30) Frédéric Dolt (tel: + 33 3 90 21 53 39) Nina Salomon (tel: + 33 3 90 21 49 79) The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg by the Council of Europe Member States in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights.

-- - Access your email from home and the web

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ECHR Slams Georgian government, judicial process, and leniency shown by President Saakashvili towards convicted "Interior Ministry" murderers

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on April 26 substantially in favor of complaints lodged by the Girgvliani family against the Georgian government, saying that the investigation into the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani “manifestly lacked the requisite independence, impartiality, objectivity and thoroughness” and ordered the government to pay to the family EUR 50,000 non-pecuniary damage.

Sandro Girgvliani met his death at the hands of Interior Ministry employees. The applicants claim that the perpetrators acted on orders given by their superiors from the Interior Ministry who were present in a café in downtown Tbilisi, where the victim shortly before being abducted, insulted one of the officials present in the café.

The Court slammed the investigation process carried out at all levels – by the Interior Ministry and then by the prosecutor’s office – saying that it “manifestly lacked” impartiality.

The Court said it “is struck by the fact that neither the prosecution nor the domestic courts attempted to clarify” some of the key circumstances of the case.

“The Court deplores that… the authorities turned a blind eye to the applicants’ credible allegation of complicity between some of the persons from the Interior Minister’s wife’s group in the café and the direct perpetrators of the crime. Such a selective approach by the domestic authorities is unacceptable for the Court because, in order for an investigation to be effective, its conclusions must always be based on thorough, objective and impartial analysis of all relevant elements. Failing to follow an obvious line of inquiry undermines the investigation’s ability to establish the circumstances of the case and the person responsible,” the ECHR said in its judgment.

The Court also said that the authorities “were lacking in candour in the conduct of the investigation.”

“The Court is struck by how the different branches of State power… acted in concert in preventing justice from being done in this gruesome homicide case,” the Court said.

Those concerted efforts, the court said, included shortcomings in investigations by the Interior Ministry and the prosecutor’s office; the prison department’s unlawful decision to place all of the convicts in the same cell; as well as deficient trial and President Saakashvili’s “unreasonable leniency towards the convicts”, when he pardoned and reduced convicts' sentences by half and later all of them were granted a pre-term release.

In respect of the trial, the Court said that “a major deficiency” in the judicial proceedings was the Georgian court’s “persistent refusal to provide the applicants with sufficient time and facilities to study the case materials.”

“It is striking that, in such a particularly complex case, the proceedings at first instance lasted only nine days, during which period it was hardly feasible either for the civil parties or even for the judges to study the voluminous case materials,” the European Court of Human Rights said.

The Court also said that despite its “repeated requests” the Georgian government did not present in its entirety one-hour portion of footage recorded by the surveillance camera to detect the movement of cars on the section of the road leading to Okrokana in Tbilisi outskirts where the crime was committed.

The Court said that submission of that evidence in its entirety was relevant as it could have corroborated or, on the contrary, refuted the applicants’ allegation that other Interior Ministry officials were also involved in the crime.

“The Government failed to justify that omission in their written observations and remained silent even after the applicants had explicitly reproached them on that account during the public hearing [at ECHR] on 27 April 2010,” the Court said.

The Court said that other complaints of the applicants have been absorbed by the examination of the complaints under Article 2 and they were not examined separately.

The judgment said that because of the Georgian authorities failure to conduct “a meaningful investigation capable of uncovering the whole truth about the death of their son and leading to the adequate punishment of all those responsible” the Court awarded applicant to EUR 50,000 for non-pecuniary damage; the applicants claimed EUR 300,000.

Within three months from the date of announcement of this judgment, parties into the case can request that the case be referred to the 17-member Grand Chamber of the Court. In that event, a panel of five judges considers whether the case raises a serious question in which case the Grand Chamber will deliver a final judgment. If no such question or issue arises, the panel will reject the request, at which point the judgment becomes final. Otherwise Chamber judgments become final on the expiry of the three-month period or earlier if the parties into the case declare that they do not intend to refer it to the Grand Chamber.

-- - Choose from over 50 domains or use your own

Monday, April 25, 2011

Who really stands behind Iranian press TV?


Perhaps some elements of Ahmedjinebad's ruling group have taken large cash donations for being vaguely associated with Press TV, but what I have watched of it did not even seem as truly leftist oriented as Al Jazeera's fake news transparency, and if you go to the PRESS TV web link on their webpage, nearly all the names read like BBC insider names on their staff.

I'm not falling for it.  maybe if I start to see a PRESS TV video clip as hard hitting as Russia Today, I will start to re-evaluate my opinion.---

July 2007   THE GUARDIAN

Inside Iran, meanwhile, the channel itself did not seem to be available at all. 

Mohammad Sarafraz, head of the new channel, said most of Press TV's 30 journalists were non-Iranians, and included many Britons as well as Americans. The channel will have correspondents in London, New York, Washington, Beirut, Damascus, Moscow and several other European capitals, as well as three correspondents covering the Israel-Palestine conflict from Gaza, Ramallah and Jerusalem. Mr Sarafraz said training had been provided by a BBC employee.

The most well-known face at the London bureau, based in Ealing, is Yvonne Ridley, the former Sunday Express journalist who converted to Islam after being captured by the Taliban in 2001.

Ridley will host a live political show called The Agenda every week. The first edition, to be broadcast tomorrow, will investigate Pakistan's military budget.

Ridley, 48, told the Guardian she jumped at the chance to work for Press TV when approached just a few weeks ago.

She said: "I see it as an antidote to Fox TV that will give a different perspective to the coverage that you get from the mainstream media. It's not shock TV, tabloid TV or propaganda promoting reactionaryism."

-- - Faster than the air-speed velocity of an                           unladen european swallow

WikiLeaks discloses new details on whereabouts of al-Qaeda leaders on 9/11

Stay tuned: soon to come are disclosures of evidence that Gitmo has been holding children, elderly, and mentally ill victims as well.

WikiLeaks discloses new details on whereabouts of al-Qaeda leaders on 9/11

On Sept. 11, 2001, the core of al-Qaeda was concentrated in a single city: Karachi, Pakistan.

At a hospital, the accused mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole was recovering from a tonsillectomy. Nearby, the alleged organizer of the 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia, was buying lab equipment for a biological weapons program. And in a safe house, the man who would later describe himself as the intellectual author of the Sept. 11 attacks was with other key al-Qaeda members watching the scenes from New York and Washington unfold on television.

Within a day, much of the al-Qaeda leadership was on the way back to Afghanistan, planning for a long war.

A cache of classified military documents obtained by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks presents new details of their whereabouts on Sept. 11, 2001, and their movements afterward. The documents also offer some tantalizing glimpses into the whereabouts and operations of Osama bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The documents, provided to European and U.S. news outlets, including The Washington Post, are intelligence assessments of nearly every one of the 779 individuals who have been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2002. In them, analysts have created detailed portraits of detainees based on raw intelligence, including material gleaned from interrogations.

Detainees are assessed “high,” “medium” or “low” in terms of their intelligence value, the threat they pose while in detention and the continued threat they might pose to the United States if released.

The documents tend to take a bleak view of the detainees, even those who have been ordered released by the federal courts because of a lack of evidence to justify their continued detention. And the assessments are often based, in part, on reporting by informants at the military detention center, sources that some judges have found wanting.

In a statement, the Pentagon, which described the decision to publish some of the material as “unfortunate,” stressed the incomplete and snapshot nature of the assessments, known as Detainee Assessment Briefs, or DABs.

“The Guantanamo Review Task Force, established in January 2009, considered the DABs during its review of detainee information,” said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell and Ambassador Daniel Fried, the Obama administration’s special envoy on detainee issues. “In some cases, the Task Force came to the same conclusions as the DABs. In other instances the Review Task Force came to different conclusions, based on updated or other available information. Any given DAB illegally obtained and released by Wikileaks may or may not represent the current view of a given detainee.”

Regardless of how detainees are currently assessed, many of the documents shed light on their histories, particularly those of the 14 high-value detainees whose assessments were made available. When pieced together, they capture some of the  drama of al-Qaeda’s scattering in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. They also point to tensions between certain members of the terrorist group.

Among other previously unknown meetings, the documents describe a major gathering of some of al-Qaeda’s most senior operatives in early December 2001 in Zormat, a mountainous region of Afghanistan between Kabul and Khost. There, the operatives began to plan new attacks, a process that would consume them, according to the assessments, until they were finally captured.

A hectic three months

According to the documents, four days after the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden visited a guesthouse in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. He told the Arab fighters gathered there “to defend Afghanistan against the infidel invaders” and to “fight in the name of Allah.”

It was beginning of a peripatetic three months for bin Laden and Zawahiri. Traveling by car among several locations in Afghanistan, bin Laden handed out assignments to his followers, met with some of the Taliban leadership and delegated control of al-Qaeda to the group’s Shura Council, presumably because he feared being captured or killed as U.S. forces closed in.

At some point, bin Laden and Zawahiri used a secret guesthouse in or relatively near Kabul. The al-Qaeda leader welcomed a stream of visitors and issued a series of orders, including instructions to continue operations against Western targets. He dispersed his fighters from training camps and instructed women and children, including some of his wives, to flee to Pakistan.

In October, bin Laden met in Kabul with two Malaysians, Yazid Zubair and Bashir Lap — both of whom are now at Guantanamo Bay — and lectured them on history and religion. On the day that the U.S.-led coalition began bombing Afghanistan, bin Laden met in Kandahar with Taliban official Mullah Mansour. Bin Laden and Zawahiri also met that month with Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, who continues to lead a deadly insurgency against the United States and its allies in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden, accompanied by Zawahiri and a handful of close associates in his security detail, escaped to his cave complex in Tora Bora in November. Around Nov. 25, he was seen giving a speech to the leaders and fighters at the complex.

He told them to “remain strong in their commitment to fight, to obey the leaders, to help the Taliban, and that it was a grave mistake and taboo to leave before the fight was completed.”

According to the documents, bin Laden and his deputy escaped from Tora Bora in mid-December 2001. At the time, the al-Qaeda leader was apparently so strapped for cash that he borrowed $7,000 from one of his protectors — a sum he paid back within a year.

Internal tensions

In December, al-Qaeda’s top lieutenants gathered in Zormat. They included Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged planner of the USS Cole attack; and Abu Faraj al-Libbi, a key facilitator for bin Laden.

The place was teeming with fighters who were awaiting for al-Qaeda to return their passports so they could flee across the border to Pakistan.

Mohammed later stated that while he and the others were in Zormat, they received a message from bin Laden in which he delegated control of al-Qaeda to the Shura Council. And the senior operatives began to plan new attacks.

Nashiri reported that while at Zormat he was approached by two Saudi nationals who wanted to strike U.S. and Israeli targets in Morocco. Nashiri said he had been considering an operation in the Strait of Gibraltar and thought that the British military base there, which he had seen in a documentary, would be a good target.

Nashiri’s willingness to approve a plot on his own was later the source of some tension within the organization, particularly with Mohammed.

In May or June 2002, Mohammed learned of the disrupted plan to attack the military base in Gibraltar and was upset that he had not been informed of it.

Nashiri separately complained that he was being pushed by bin Laden to continue planning aggressive operations against U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf region without much regard for his security.

It was an unusual complaint for someone who was so committed to al-Qaeda. According to documents, to avoid the distraction of women, he “reportedly received injections to promote impotence and recommended the injections to others so more time could be spent on the jihad.”

Back in Pakistan

After the Zormat conclave, Mohammed and other senior al-Qaeda figures began to return to Karachi.

The documents state that Mohammed “put together a training program for assassinations and kidnappings as well as pistol and computer training.” It was not intended for specific operations but to occupy the bored fighters stuck in safe houses.

At the time, money was flowing into the country for Mohammed, according to the documents, allowing him to acquire safe houses and fund operations.

In November 2002, his nephew Baluchi took a delivery of nearly $70,000 from a courier. Mohammed, at one point, gave $500,000 to a Pakistani businessman, who is also being held at Guantanamo Bay, for safekeeping, much of it wrapped in cellophane and inside a shopping bag. Mohammed also gave Riduan Isamuddin, the Indonesian known by the nom de guerre Hambali, $100,000 to congratulate him for the Bali bombing.

Gradually, Mohammed and the other operatives were picked off by Pakistanis working with the CIA and the FBI. When Ramzi Binalshibh, a key liaison between the Sept. 11 hijackers and al-Qaeda, was arrested at a safe house in Karachi on the  first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, there was a four-hour standoff while the Yemeni and two others held knives to their own throats and threatened to kill themselves rather than be taken.

There are few geographic references in the documents for bin Laden after his flight into Pakistan.

He apparently sent out letters from his hiding place through a trusted courier, who then handed them to Libbi, who had provided the secret guesthouse in Kabul immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.

After the capture of Mohammed in March 2003, Zawahiri fled from the house where he had been staying. The documents state that Zawahiri left on his own and sought out an Afghan, who delivered him to Libbi.

In May 2005, while waiting for bin Laden’s courier at a drop point, Libi was arrested by Pakistani special forces.

Zawahiri, in response, moved again. His residence, documents state, “was changed to a good place owned by a simple old man.”

He remains at large.

-- - mmm... Fastmail...

Free gas for all Jewish families, sick and insane Georgian Joke!

Free gas for all Jewish families, sick Georgian Joke!

Joni Simonishvili

Every Georgian will tell you that Jews have lived for 26 Centuries in Georgia without anti-Semitism, in peace and without fear. However, that is one among many fairly tales faced in modern day Georgia, as the case with the promised democracy and civil society; now all citizens of Georgian live in fear.

As one native born Georgian Jew whose father and family survived the concentration camp wrote in response to the latest incident of blatant (perhaps State sponspored) anti-Semitism,  "the recent incident shocked me".

Holocaust and “the Bush generation”

You be the judge!!!

The scandal broke on Imedi TV, a progovernment TV station with dodgy ownership, and with allegations of being stolen from its former Jewish owner by those close to the government of Georgia. A completion was aired and an anchorperson of the Program for “The Club of the Cheerful and Sharp” requested the teams to name the highs of Hitler. The answer of the Tbilisi State Medical University was the follows: “Free gas for every Jewish family”. The answer was followed by claps and laughter from the audience; the jury, with Lado Vardzelashvili in its composition, the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, awarded high score to the team. ... Georgia had beat out of people's minds the memory about the Second World War in recent years, calling it whatever you like, Russia's war but never more the struggle against fascism. Not only have the young, but middle-aged people have forgotten what it means for Jews the name of Hitler, and for civilized society as a whole - Europe, and the millions of lives destroyed. The government of georgia is trying to destory all memory of the Soviet victory over the Nazis - and even destroying momument of those who fought against the fasists.

History is being rewritten, even the themes 'that are inviolable and sacred for all of humanity. Nobody has the right to forget the six million Jews and 50 million other innocents that perished in the death camps, the millions more who died defeated this curse on humanity! This sick joke was met with applause on a government controlled TV station, Imedia, (Hope) and one even stolen from a Jew, (and one who died under strange circumstances) and then the academic contest was even evaluated by high scores by the jury and the team even took first place.

Another text in English:

More about this incident, it happened 13th April....

Was this organized by the Georgian government for some insane reasons?

-- - mmm... Fastmail...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What is the end game of the 2008 Georgian-Russian War?

Weapons Trafficking in Georgia and Larger Games in Middle East

The headline is but the tip of the iceberg, “Saakashvili Protege Helped Lead Georgia to War with Russia
 By Steve LeVine | November 1, 2010, on an investigative website, Main Justice.
However, for that know this story from the big picture perspective – this is small stuff, and Davit Kererashvii is but a fall guy as part of a larger network of international arms dealing and proxy wars.

Steve Levin writes, the 32-year-old Kezerashvili has lain low since leaving the defense post under heavy criticism following the August 2008 war, in which the armed forces that he and President Mikheil Saakashvili had carefully armed and trained fled the battlefield in panic.

This is far from the truth, solider fought and only the officers “cut and ran”, leaving the boots on the ground to fend on their own, and even an order was given to withdraw when the war was actually going in favor of Georgia.

This story, as to Davit Kererashvili, and it interesting quotes are part of a larger pattern, or perhaps just a reflection of trying to write remote articles without up close fact-checking – and buying into a flimsy story line that one guy is somehow responsible  for all of the debacle.

 The Main Justice article writes that “Kezerashvili had relied in considerable part on relationships with
 Israel to build up Georgia’s fighting capability. He attended high school in Israel in the early 1990s and became fluent in Hebrew.”

No mention is made as how he had to escape Georgia in his youth to keep from being arrested for drug dealing and that his university days were marked by fits of rage, perhaps under the influence of drugs and how he even threatened one of his professors for refusing to put down high marks for him when he had not even attended lectures, and that was even before the so-called education reform and rooting out corruption in the system of higher education.

The weapons business in Georgia in multi-faceted, and has been booming in Georgia for many years, and with direct knowledge and US involvement. The Georgian-Russian war of 2008 only provided the opportunity to bring us up to speed on the larger scale of things, including funding mechanisms, and now many US defense contractors are involved in this lucrative and deadly business.  It’s all about location and topography. However, it is clear that Kezerashvili is but a pawn in this game. One only need to look at who will was appointed as the next Ambassador to the United States as part of the bigger game, Jakobashvili, Minister for Territorial Reintegration, and how this relates to larger regional games, outsourcers of  cannon fodder and all the possible with his links with the traders of weapons and Israeli dirty players.
As a cover for the lost of many weapons, including those prepositioned here for eventual use against Iran and for Libya. The original drumbeat was to be expected. – “Territorial integrity” – restoring Constitutional order and overcoming the lawlessness in the breakaways of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (we heard that before in the lawless Pankisi George, a so-called US funded terrorist funded hideout). 

It was clear from on-site visits behind the Russian lines during the war of August 2008 that far more weapons were stocked stockpiled in Georgia than needed. Many of these fell into Russian hands than ever admitted, and this begs the question as why were they stockpile there in the first place.  With the events of the last months in the Arab Awakening it is not difficult to understanding.  Nonetheless, this was the first real on-site confirmation of the illegal procurement and distribution network that involves many countries in the trafficking and illicit trade of weapons, including close friends, Jordan, NATO member countries, and to top the list with UK and the peace loving Norwegians as part of the chorus.
It is still officially debatable whether the “vast amount” of weapons was intended for Georgian defensive purpose or just part of a larger shell game of “producers” and “end users” who find that the situation in Georgia is perfect for transshipments of weapons to other conflict zones outside of the region. One of the key players, with links with Vicktor Bout and Serbia is the Melvale Corporation, which is a well-known intermediary company for this trade.  This black market dealer of weapons works under the umbrella of contracts concluded before the last Minister of Defense was even aware of the business opportunities in his new job.

It also confirms that links between Russian Military intelligence and Georgian plants, not low level agents but those who are fixed in key positions in the Georgian and Israeli defense establishment.  The main point in some of the end user certificates is from where any full-fledge investigation should start, and not on the surface of some commissions trading hands but where did the shipment to Georgia actually end up. “The end user of the cargo with guarantees that the cargo as described will not be given, re-exported, lent, rented or [gifted] to other persons, subjects or countries without the written consent of the authorized organs of Georgian and Jordan. Moreover, the Georgian Ministry of Defense further guarantees to accept the materials in its warehouses and to keep them under its security after the delivery to Georgia?

Does that mean placing them in villages, near schools and other places to be captured by the Russians, as was the case during the war of August 2008, and if captured – then no laws have been violated in the terms of the certificate of end user, and if now they end up on the international market, only the Russians and South Ossetians can be blamed. The paperwork cannot be clearer, “After accepting the cargo, the Ministry of Defense will confirm the delivery in writing through a certificate to the supplier, confirming the realization of the delivery.”
It is understood why Saakashvili posted a slimy and unless drug user as the top man in the Ministry of Defense, again quoting from the recent Main Justice Story, “Returning to his native Georgia, Kezerashvili formed a friendship with Saakashvili, who was making his way as a young politician after earning a law degree in the United States. As Saakashvili rose, so did his young protégée.

I would beg to differ, and “when Saakashvili was justice minister under Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgia’s first post-Soviet president, Kezerashvili served as head of his information department. He served as an assistant to Saakashvili when the latter was chief of the Tbilisi city council. And when Saakashvili formed a new political party in 2001 â the United National Movement and Kezerashvili became a founding member.

The president elect knew this persons capabilities well – and how he would provide the perfect cover in case anything would go wrong, the perfect scapegoat, and when push came to shove that he could run to Israel and not be deported, as it is illegal to deport a Jew from the homeland.  The Main Justice Article only tells part of the story, and the rest can be confirmed by human rights watchdogs.    
Leading up to the August 2008 war, Israel provided niche materiel and training to Georgia. According to the respected Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Israeli weapons and training cost Georgia some $500 million from 2000 through 2008. They included pilotless drones and night-vision equipment, in addition to tactical and urban warfare training starting at the end of 2007.

What about the M-85 cluster bombs sold to Georgia, many of them being duds – and how there was a wholesale failure of the “grad” style multi-launch system that brought these down on the heads of Georgian soldiers and civilian populations – and outside of the direct zone of conflict, and the concerted effort by the Georgian government to blame this on the Russians. HR watch and the Georgian human rights center confirmed the use of cluster bombs outside of the region of the Roki tunnel and it is clear that this has never been investigated as a war crime.

It is also debatable, as daring and educated, having cheated his way through the university – threatening a female aged professor with violence is this Kezerahvli, and how can such a statement as this be made in the Main Justice Article, “Then, in 2006, Saakashvili elevated the just 28-year-old Kezerashvili to the defense portfolio. He said Kezerashvili was a young but daring, educated and firm.

The problems of Kezershvili are minor in comparison to the big picture, and how a so called US ally, Jordan is so much involved in the weapons trafficking – and as a result of the calculation to not win the war of August 2008, weapons that were sold to Georgia, mostly Serbian are being traded in the international black market. It would be interesting to know where the big stocks of cluster bombs went, as used in grad launch systems, especally in the backdrop of allegations of the use of cluster bombs being used in yet another US target country. 
-- - Same, same, but different...

Slippery Oil Test Results in Batumi, Caleb Brett-Intertek

Georgian Political Games More than Slippery Slope
An investigation worthy of Rustavi2
Joni Simonshvili
Upcoming film on Rustavi 2 telling the whole story of how Georgia suckered in Russian intelligence over this very affair; this film must have been in the making for some time - under close-wraps on the orders of the government (using public funds) - and all to score points over Russia, wouldn't mind betting that those dumb clucks (those working in intelligence services) will somehow manage to shoot themselves in the foot over this; they're taking the Russians for fools - poking the bear... again.

If the Russians really wanted to I'm sure they could make life  in Georgia  quite unpleasant. As written a few years ago, as part of an insider investigation of the corruption in the oil testing business in Baku and Batumi, an agent of the USG wrote the following: “thanks for the insight - I guess it all depends on the customer as if it gets tested along the way - the question remains if oil is being intentionally diverted as part of some pipeline wars between Russia and the West; such  information has been moot for some years, gathering dust but now the time is right to share it with a larger audience.

The inside word is that a Russia KGB general is behind the takeover in Batumi, Tengiz Ashba and he is tied with both old and new governments – and one of his persons on the ground is Aslan Smirba (it is no coincidence who is working as the commercial director, the son of Alex Bakradze, former head of State Security for Aslan Abshadze, little Nurzur - and only for political reason - or utter stupidity would a company such as Intertek Caleb Brett, a compliance company specializing in testing of oil products put such a person in key position

.I understand that he has started his own little investigation these days as to who ‘fingered him” for being a drug addict.  BTW, keep up the good work, and keep in mind that his family was also involved in drug processing labs dating back to prior to the downfall of Aslan Abshadze in 2004, so I guess he has some qualifications to test oil products.  In terms of other matters, as to why oil is not making it past BTC pumping station number 2, the official reasons why the Baku-Supsa is shut down is repairs.  But also the tariff on oil shipped via BTC is lower so Baku-Supsa will stay shut down for repairs until BTC is full.  At that point if additional oil is available for shipping then Baku-Supsa will restart. I expect it will restart in late 2008 or 2009.  But certainly the shutdown gives the time to repair and upgrade it for higher volumes also.  Since it only goes to Supsa whereas BTC goes to Ceyhan the economics of shipping will be better using BTC.  Saving the cost of the tanker from Supsa to the Bosphorus is significant-sometimes delays in the Bosphorus can cause a tanker to lose a week.

On the oil testing, keep in mind that when the tankers arrive the oil can be retested.  It is tested at various points along the system.  So even if they did falsify results in Georgia testing it would get picked up later on.  However, that is not necessarily the case when the oil get diverted somewhere between pumping station one, Georgian side, and pumping station two, and then flogged off for a hefty profit.  It should be noted that that it is Azeri light - that which goes via the pipeline as it is also exported via Batumi as well as other grades and origins, and Kazak. The question is why BTC does not keep backup samples - and this may be because some of the oil that is going into the line is a horse of a different color, and there is the nexus to what we understand is going on in Batumi and Baku.

Please don't get me started on AmerCham in Georgia and that barrel of fishhooks, which is the cover for much of the illegal business that transpires in Batumi and Georgia as a whole. I have a complete list of membership and know who is who on that list, and have information on all the networks of patronage.  I know what I am talking about - including money laundering. I can tell you who are the shits and who the assholes in that organization are, (it is common knowledge) and the worst lot among them has floated to the top, including those in now close with the International Chamber of Commerce, need I give names.

Not so SMART pig!

The allegation at the time, 2008, that someone the intelligent pig was not functioning - not so clever - and that oil has been tapped and diverted between Georgian pumping station one and pumping station two. Moreover, oil is not flowing - and still Baku-Supsa is down for "repairs" and that too is a question. The fact is that not that much oil is available to export and with the prices as high as they are - more money is to be made shipping (smuggling oil out from Batumi), DDU, and this comes from a range of oil origins - and much of it should be flowing via the BTC but that does not help the bottom line of the stakeholders (too much money is being made and lot of the money is trading hands in non-official ways. One must remember where we are and the world is full of backhanders and petty crooks.

I have all the standards for all crude types being tested in Batumi and Baku - and I am fairly sure that the local business has been taken over by the Russians (Russian and GRU intelligence, from the management down the security guards). I have been involved in an investigation of the oil testing lab that is under the management of to Caleb Brett-Intertek in Batumi.

Nine former employees have spilled their guts. I think I may have another scud to send to the powers to be that is on the level of the one that sent to USAID Afghanistan and that investment funds that was a front for other activities.

I tried to help the employees to network with an attorney and I thought would have blown this case open, however, they were too scared. In 2006 there was a bomb explosion in pumping station one and that never was publically reported, now BTC test results are being faked and it is not even possible to take results from pumping station 2 since there was no oil flowing in late June.

Here is some insight you can read between the lines of possible next steps.

1. I am indeed a US licensed attorney.  Because 16 years ago I began my law practice in my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia as a litigator, I am admitted to the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta). However, I have not myself handled US litigation since approximately 1994.  I have since that time instead done transactional work and international arbitration work, not US court work.
2. Our office located in Tbilisi, Georgia, where I am the managing partner, handles cases in the Georgian (i.e, Sakartvelo) courts.  For litigation in the United States, that would be handled by attorneys in the United States.  We work extensively with a litigation partner in our New York office, Claudia Salomon, who is of course qualified in the US District Courts and would be in a position to bring this matter in the US District Courts in New York City (Southern District of New York (Manhattan) or Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

3. We do not normally take cases on a contingency basis; we would charge by the hour for our work and therefore the legal fees could be very high. However, this would be something for you to discuss with my staff.

4. Before doing anything we must determine whether there would be any conflicts of interest.  BP is a major client of our law firm.  We have very close relations with BP and we would not take any matter adverse to BP's interests.  Therefore, if you believe your claim is adverse to BP, then we would not act for you.
5. If we were to take your case (even Ms. Salomon in New York), because the case relates to Georgia, and there would be Georgian law and evidence gathering, Georgian attorneys in our Tbilisi office would certainly work on the matter. If that is a problem for you then again, we would not be able to take the case.  However, I will not disclose any information you have provided me, your contact, etc., to any other lawyers in our firm, Georgian or non Georgian, without your permission.

London Decision leads to shakeup in oil testing result:

1)      Aslan Abashidze’s team takes over oil business in Batumi, lock, stock and testing lab.
2)      Does ExxonMobil, BP run aground over oil test results?

It is interesting to note that at this time that at least 50 percent of the oil exported by Georgian territiory, including what passes out by BTC. Caleb Brett also has a testing lab in Azerbaijan, Baku and it is thought that the same "close knit" group connnected to the real leadership of Azerbaijan and the former mayor of Moscow is in control. The real nexus of this information is the cozy links with Russian intelligence, which involves the Batumi Oil Terminal, with links to the Kremlin, which has basically been the former Mayor of Moscow and his close friend, business partner, Aslan Abshadze.

Intelligence has stacked put their people in the oil testing that officially certifies western destined oil passing through the Cacuases. As in the case of Batumi, local staff has been replaced with the cronies of the former Lion of Ajara - and slung lots of mud on the local Georgian staff when they complained and tried to protect their rights under what is left of Georgian labour law. One former staff member even died of a heart attack because of the stress. The question remains is whether or not BP has been getting quality lab reports, or is trying to dturn a blind eye to what has been going on in its own pumping stations, with SMART PIGs, and how much oil gets siphoned off at pumping stations one and redirected without proper paperwork for export from the Blacksea - and when has the oil gone.  ExxonMobil is another strategic partner and this these two labs test much of what is exported by tankers to varioius end users.

Naturally a company has the right to cut expenses and reorganize to improve the bottom line. However, does that come with threats to employees and emails that would destroy a person's career? As Intertek’s Area Manager wrote to one of the fired employees in her detailed list of reasons for employee departures: "I can continue to list all non-conformities in QHSE/Compliance, Georgian Branch to explain the departure of one testing employees who was terminated. It is no

NB. It appears in retrospect that she was really terminated when she learned that oil samples were not available because no oil was passing the BTC at the second pumping station in Georgia. Upon spilling the beans on what was going on, a representative of the CB company ermphasized how the information she was willing to share [as a threat] would be shared with the media., “I can present it to compliance auditor, newspapers, and magazine if you want. However, this would not be for your benefit. Her bluff was called on this one, and then the regional director.General Manager FSU, Iain Clark, wrote back in the second email back in 2007, and then an investigative reported became involved.

Dear Khalima Hasanova,
Area Manager Azerbaijan|Turkmenistan|
GeorgiaIntertek Oil, Chemicals & Agri

I was recently provided with your contact information and some commentary regarding various human resources and their previous involvement working with Intertek in Batumi, Georgia by some of my contacts with Georgian State  TV. I have been working in Georgia for the last year, including for  two  weekly  English newspapers, The Georgian Times and Georgia Today, and  have  submitted  work to The National Security News Reporting Agency;  Kavkazcenter  and other  media outlets. I also have researched aspects of the BTC oil pipeline as part of my undergraduate studies in environmental sciences.

The various reasons for the list of employees" removal/departure, including  that of the [woman] sound quite interesting, and I was surprised that a decision  was   made to actually release such information. As you mentioned in your   correspondence "I can continue to list all non-conformities in   QHSE/Compliance in Georgia Branch to explain the reason of your departure   Rusiko but afraid the message can be too long. I can present it to compliance auditor, newspaper, magazine if you want. It definitely will be not for your benefit".

I am interested in working together with you on this matter if you should be further prepared to present such issues to newspapers for publication, and I could facilitate this rather effectively. I imagine the reason was in line with company’s policy and that there had been some performance problems in the past. It appears to be a case of a handful of former employees that are angry and disgruntled over their management’s decisions.

My only question now is to whose benefit would publish such information benefit? It appears that there is strong motivation on your behalf and under such circumstances, involving the range and shear amount of removals, I imagine the story would turn a few heads, or at least get a couple of those disgruntled former employees off your back. Furthermore, energy in the region and throughout the world is a hot topic and could attract a large audience.

\I look forward to your reply and collaborating with you on this issue. I could send you my CV if you would like.

This was received in response on the 30th of July 2007 I am in receipt of your latest message to Khalima Hasanova, copied to me by Edith Aslanyan.

I am the General Manager responsible for Intertek's operations in the FSU and as such am replying to you on behalf of the operations in Georgia and Azerbaijan.Information/correspondence has come into your possession that was never meant for your attention. It was sent to two "former employees" whose employment was terminated by the company, in full accordance with Georgian employment law, for failing to meet the exacting ethical and operational standards required by the company. It was an attempt to answer some of their grievances, maybe naively, but none the less was sent in good faith that it would remain confidential between the parties concerned. That it has come in to the public domain is something that was not envisaged but in hind sight should have been foreseen. This also means that you and your colleagues are trying to interpret a situation where you are not in possession of all of the information and, because we consider it to be confidential and potentially detrimental to certain former staff members, never will be from us.

As such there never was any intention to publish anything in the public domain; as this is, and always was, an internal personnel issue between the company and its "now former" staff. Therefore you will not receive a reply to your mail from Khalima Hasanova. In closing I would like to reiterate that as a company we always strive to operate to the highest possible standards both operationally and ethically.  As such we are carrying out an investigation to ensure that these standards are being met. If, and I stress if, we find anything, we will take the appropriate actions to correct the situation immediately. If anything suspected of being of a criminal nature is unearthed then we will report relevant findings to the appropriate authorities.\

I hope that this clarifies the situation.”


The interesting thing is that this entire situation had to be clarified to Mr. Clark, whose own team subsequently drove fast into damage control mode, later even offered to cooperate in a private investigation into the firings and mysterious employee departures. There are also allegations that the intelligent pig in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyan oil pipeline has been ‘dumbed’ down (this is the device that run through the pipeline and looks for technical defects, and seeks out any irregularities in oil flows and finds "taps"), which is directly connection with the oil lab when there was no oil to test at collection point, as there was no oil flowing via the BTC.  This was first heard from workers who claimed that  oil was  not flowing at its normal rate, and later backed up by a couple of BP  workers who were drinking on the streets of Tbilisi. Clients appear to not know what is going on here, connections with the oil lab or clients  not  knowing about this bomb that has already went off (pumping station several years back), - the connections with BTC and oil being actually being  diverted, including from where, where to and just how.

There is a series of stories that illustrate some of the realities on the ground of the ´new great game´ and energy policy in this part of the world, and this might serve the greater public interests. Regarding this case, I could be a source on the ground that tries to prove or disprove how Russian influence and old players (Aslan Abishadze) in Georgia are still very much in the game; how their new stances have been in many cases achieved effortlessly, and there is ample evidence that this is part of a plan to somehow ruin the reputation of  the  vast Caspian and Central Asian oil resources to discourage western  companies from investing in the region, while Russia gains further and more  long-term strategic control, or at least downgrades the reputation and  'success' of BTC? 

Moreover, there are potentially many separate stories or side plots about a greater strategy that involves the on-going takeover of a number of important assets and infrastructure in Georgia, including the recent selling off of a number of major power stations, to Kazak and Czech fronts and other companies such as 'Bouser Ltd'. Sources are all in place in Batumi and throughout Georgia and things are developing on many fronts. This has been by far the largest and most pressing project I have been involved after several years of investigative journalism in Georgia.


The allegation at the time, 2007 2008, that someone the intelligent pig was not functioning - not so clever - and that oil has been tapped and diverted between Georgian pumping station one and pumping station two. Moreover, oil is not flowing - and still Baku-Supsa is down for "repairs" and that too is a question. The fact is that not that much oil is available to export and with the prices as high as they are - more money is to be made shipping (smuggling oil out from Batumi), and this comes from a range of oils - and much of it should be flowing via the BTC but that does not help the bottom line of the stakeholders (too much money is being made and lot of the money is trading hands in non-official ways. One must remember where we are and the world is full of backhanders and petty crooks.

I have all the standards for all crude types being test in Batumi and Baku - and I am fairly sure that the local business has been taken over by the Russians (Russian and GRU intelligence, from the management down the security guards). I have been involved in an investigation of the oil testing lab that belongs to Caleb Brett-Intertek in Batumi.

Nine former employees have spilled their guts. I think Rustavi2 and Georgian Intelligence should dig a bit deeper into the port of Batumi in dredging up some dirt as the larger network of things and the extent of Russian intelligence involvement in the internal affairs of a fledgling democracy that is misunderstood. Naturally none of this has anything to do with NATO aspirations – only old fashion greed and corruption and new age damage control. The proceeds from the slippery business have been used for various USG pet projects and there are many financial stakeholders.

n the oil there's money to be made but as all the crude is coming from BP in Azerbaijan right now I don't see how they could make money through testing the pipeline oil.  If you look bit closer at oil product testing than you will see a whole different story.  What type of testing are they involved with?  Is it BTC crude or all types of oil and oil products?  AmCham set up a petroleum products committee earlier and they put out some useful info.  USAID also funded some work on smuggling of oil products to avoid excise taxes that was quite useful. 

On the oil testing, keep in mind that when the tankers arrive the oil can be retested.  It is tested at various points along the system.  So even if they did falsify results in Georgia testing it would get picked up later on (at least in theory).  However, that is not necessarily the case when the oil get diverted somewhere between pumping station one, Georgian side, and pumping station two, and then flogged off for a hefty profit.  It should be noted that that it is Azeri light - that which goes via the pipeline as it is also exported via Batumi as well as other grades and origins, and Kazak. The question is why BTC does not keep backup samples - and this may be because some of the oil that is going into the line is a horse of a different color, and there is the nexus to what we understand is going on in Batumi and Baku.

Please don't get me started on AmerCham, which is the cover for much of the illegal business that transpires in Batumi and Georgia as a whole. I have a complete list of membership and know who is who on that list, and have information on all the networks of patronage.  I know what I am talking about - including money laundering. I can tell you who are the shits and who the assholes in that organization are, (it is common knowledge) and the worst lot among them has floated to the top, including those in now close with the International Chamber of Commerce, need I give names.


-- - One of many happy users:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Body parts 4-Sale in Georgia

Human (Prisoner) Organ Trafficking in Georgia?

Shocking allegations - but anything is possible in Georgia for money. employee of a penitentiary system speaks about terrible facts:

Recently a 26-year old man died in prison; he weighed 23 kilos. "There were cases when the heads of the dead prisoners were stuffed with briefs instead of brains; organs are completely extracted; embalming of such bodies is impossible."

Anything is possible but I thought this was being done in Poti some years ago and the organs sold to Germany.
-- - Email service worth paying for. Try it for free

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros: a lone wolf conspiracy theory

Are they really dead?

These two journalists will be made into martyrs [are they BOTH really truly dead, or with new IDs somewhere?] and will THIS justify Obama putting boots on the ground in Libya and hence a 4th war front of the U.S. oil and banking and weapons empire???
Tim Hetherington

was embedded with UK and US soldiers for over a year in Afghanistan and is very gung ho pro soldiers [hence, he was cleared by his pals in Army intel and NSA to be a mascot for the media].  Hetherington is a "pet boy" of the military wherever he goes to snap his helpful photos.  His documentary RESTREPO on the war in Afghanistan and his text he wrote for his book INFIDEL read and look like Sylvester Stallone Rambo delusions.

Friendly "agencies" quoted in this Newsweek article below, who have helped Hetherington in his career, all along.

Chris Hondros

-- his most recent 'propaganda' sympathetic pro rebel forces photos from Libya, above, just before he 'died'.  Hondros is the "leftie" and "softie" type of photo journalist, working for USAID, yet who never really uncovers harmful visual information and who is always "johnny after the deed" and not "johnny before the act", with his camera.  He took many pro war photos at the beginning of the Iraq War, and said later "it was a mistake".  His photo series of the little Iraq girl whose parents were killed by US soldiers in their moving family car, in the very end showed the US combatants as very sympathetic and caring troops, thus burnishing the name of US soldiers abroad. [making it ROGER to not show any more photos to the public of civilian massacres, that might REALLY  inflame the public.]
-- - mmm... Fastmail...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blatant Violations of Human Rights in Georgian Prision and JusticeSystem

14 Year Scapegoat in Georgia, Blatant Violation of Human Rights  

Not even for murder - for wounding with intent to murder even without evidence. Imprisoned to protect the guilty ones who are well-connected; this must be must have been a nightmare scenario - your only daughter accidentally stumbles upon a scene where some kid is getting "payback" from the friends of a girl who's phone he pawned, and ends up taking the blame for inflicting 33 cuts on him - with no blood or any sign a damage on her own clothes or body. This is but one among many such examples of a system out of control.

Given that Georgia’s violations and challenges are considered persistent, it is clear that efforts by NGOs such as Amnesty International have been ineffective in creating change. However, given the challenges that Georgia has faced, could more time to grow out of the Soviet-era mentality and more democratisation lead to a substantial alteration in Georgia’s penal system? Unfortunately, in the next period of Georgia’s history to be examined, the answer so far appears to be no.
       The period from the 2003 Rose Revolution to the present, characterized by the installment of President Mikheil Saakashvili.  Saakashvili at first represented change for most citizens and has undertaken numerous political and economic reforms. However, criticism remains that Saakashvili has been too authoritarian, and he has openly stated that he will sacrifice nothing for the sake of development. At the opening of the new Radisson Hotel, Saakashvili was quoted as stating, “Development does not exist in Georgia without order. No compromise will be made from our side in this issue.” (Saakashvili, 2009) However, what does this mean for human rights and more specifically, the prison system?
       It means that despite reform in nearly every aspect of life for Georgians, things have not improved in regards to the penal system. In April 2005, Human Rights watch published an article entitled “Georgia: Torture Still Goes Unpunished” which stated that “Since the Rose Revolution brought a new government to power in 2003, the Georgian authorities have failed to end the widespread torture of detainees in the criminal justice system.” (Human Rights Watch, 2005, p. 1) Additionally, the article provided an example of the level of failure of accountability. It stated,
According to the government’s own statistics, only 39 cases ‘involving elements of inhuman and degrading treatment’ were investigated in 2004, out of which 20 were suspended or terminated and only 12 were sent on to court. Out of the five cases which had been ruled on by a court at the time the statistics were gathered, only one police officer had been sentenced to an active prison term. In this case, the police officer was accused of beating another police officer and not a detainee, making it a dubious case of torture. (Human Rights Watch, 2005, p.2)

       But what about prison conditions, what about the nature of the abuse itself? It remains sad that the previous practices have survived into the Saakashvili era. Human Rights watch writes, in a 2006 report entitled “Georgia: Prison Abuses Rife Despite Promises of Reform”, that “Thousands of prisoners in Georgia live in inhuman and degrading conditions and many are subject to severe beatings and other ill-treatment.” (Human Rights Watch, 2006, p.1) Furthermore, “Prisoners, even those held in the newly renovated prisons, receive inadequate food and substandard, if any, medical care. Many prisoners also lack access to exercise and often cannot leave their cells for weeks or months at a time.” (Human Rights Watch, 2006, p.1)
       For a long time, Georgia has faced difficulties funding positive reforms and literally has not been able to afford to change conditions or practices. In response, “The European Union and other donors have provided the Georgian government with substantial financing to build new prisons. But simply giving money and building new prisons isn’t going to end abuses against prisoners.” (Human Rights Watch, 2006, p.2) Since Georgia received this aid in 2006 abuses have persisted at a consistent rate.

-- - The way an email service should be

Monday, April 18, 2011

Georgia Rejects Cliam By Elbit System Highlight Problems in Prisions

Tbilisi Rejects USD 100m Claim by Elbit Systems

Maybe Gilauri should invite a couple of their executives over to discuss this claim? (and put them in jail to catch tuberculosis and die)

Georgia has denied having any financial liabilities to the Israeli defence electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd., which said that it had filed a lawsuit against the Georgian government in an amount of about USD 100 million.

“We know that a lawsuit has been filed [by Elbit Systems], but we have not been formally notified about this lawsuit from the arbitration,” Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said on April 18.

“According to the information available to us, the Georgian Ministry of Defense not only does not have any amount in arrears, there are number of defense companies, which, unfortunately, themselves owe to the Georgian side,” she added without elaborating further details.

Elbit Systems Ltd. said on April 8, that it had filed a lawsuit in the High Court of Justice of the United Kingdom because of the Georgian government's “failure to pay amounts due to the company in connection with deliverable items under several contracts signed in 2007.


This would be a normal business dispute in most countries but in Georgia many questions are raised, as this is perhaps a natural outcome of many challenge faced in various spheres:  political, economic, and social spheres, as Georgia, despite the high hopes and expectations its leadership purportedly maintain for the future, has been plagued by territorial conflict, economic hardship, internally displaced persons, and a wide range of human rights violations.

For a long time, Georgia has faced difficulties funding positive reforms and literally has not been able to afford to change conditions or practices. In response, “The European Union and other donors have provided the Georgian government with substantial financing to build new prisons. But simply giving money and building new prisons isn’t going to end abuses against prisoners.” (Human Rights Watch, 2006, p.2) Since Georgia received this aid in 2006 abuses have persisted at a consistent rate. Even as recently as March 2011, according to the newspaper “Georgia and World”, two prisoners died from torture. 31 year old Temur Petriashvili and 31 year old Malkhaz Muzashvili were declared dead, and doctors concluded their cause of death to be illness combined with severe trauma. Irma Inashvili, a political activist, spoke publically about the incident and stated, “We have video camera recordings of the corpse of Malkhaz Muzashvili. He has very serious injuries to the body: the leg is broken; the nose is damaged, the wrist, the veins of the neck. He bears obvious signs of torture.” (Gelashvili, 2011, p.1) The article also speculated on the cause of such torture and abuse. In many cases, “the reason for beating and torture may be that the prisoner does not kiss the photo of Mikheil Saakashvili or salute the jailer, etc…” (Gelashvili, 2011, p.1)

Such instances have even spurred recent small scale protests which have resulted in several arrests. “On April 4, 2011, police briefly scuffled with protesters outside the Supreme Court…” (Civil Georgia, 2011, p.1) “The rally was organised by various opposition groups, which are campaigning for inmates' rights.” (Civil Georgia, 2011, p.1) The conditions of detainees and prisoners remain deplorable today, and these protests are clear evidence for this claim. It would continue to appear that nothing has changed since Saakashvili took power, as throughout Georgia’s independence.

The fact that there are protests against prison conditions and lack of accountability within the penal system is highly significant. Prisons are still overcrowded, still dirty, and detainees are beaten and tortured while expectations of justice remain almost non-existent. Despite a new Georgian Constitution, new ratifications of anti-torture documents and a government that claims that it is driven by development, rule of law, and the whole nine years, it seems that the penal system, one of the oldest problems in Georgia, remains in bad shape, and will continue to be for many years to come.

Joni Simonishvili
-- - Access all of your messages and folders                           wherever you are