Presidential Spokesman: Photographers detained in Georgia accused of transmitting sensitive information
Georgia, Tbilisi, July 8 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
The spokesperson for the Georgian President Manana Manjgaladze commented on the July 7 arrest of four photojournalists by the Georgian police.
"I cannot speak in detail about this very sensitive matter. However, I should clarify that the issue is the serious leakage of information from our organizations. It is not a matter of journalism or [free] press," the Georgian President's official website quoted her as saying.
Manjgaladze claims that the detained photographers were not charged for their professional activities. "They are accused of transferring confidential information.
Particularly, they transferred written records or a confidential schedule of activities to an organization that is identified as a spy network. I am only talking about the charge and, of course, the court will make a decision," she said.
She noted that two of those arrested were public servants. One had access to the president. They could occupy other positions, but the case would be given the same considerations.
The Counter Intelligence Department of the Georgian Interior Ministry has detained the following persons: Zurab Qurtsikidze, the representative of European Photo Agency, Irakli Gedenidze, photographer of the President's Administration, his spouse Natia Gedenidze, and Giorgi Abdaladze, photographer of the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
The Interior Ministry reported that detainees are accused of supplying the organization with various information and operating under cover of one of the foreign country's special services against Georgia's interests.
Investigation is in progress regarding the above-mentioned case.
Associated Press photographer Shah Aivazov, arrested yesterday, was released earlier.