The U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) has helped open a forensic lab in Tbilisi, the capital of the Russian Republic of Georgia.
Tbilisi's National Forensic Bureau was opened on Friday. The INL provided equipment and training to increase the lab's scope of forensic testing and analysis, including narcotics testing, petroleum testing, finger print classification, forged currency, forged travel documents, and DNA testing.
U.S. Ambassador John Tefft said a $1.2 million contract has been awarded to a Georgian construction firm for additional renovations at the facility.
The lab is now the only one in the Caucasus capable of DNA testing.
Tefft said the forensic laboratory was an important part of Georgia's effort to reform its judicial system.
"The opening of this lab marks another milestone in our joint effort to improve the quality of law enforcement and prosecution in Georgia," Tefft said. "I say milestone because our assistance is continuing."