Tbilisi court determines preventive measure on arrested photojournalists
Georgia, Tbilisi, July 9 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
The Tbilisi City Court sentenced three photographers, who were arrested for spying, for two months in prison as a preliminary measure.
The judge did not grant the petition to release them on bail, the lawyer of arrested Giorgi Abdaladze, Revaz Chinchaladze, said after the trial.
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. Natia Gedenidze was released.
Accusations were brought against Gedenidze, Abdaladze and Kurtsikidze under the first part of Article 314, which involves the collection, storage or transmission and / or extortion or kidnapping of documents, information or other data containing state secrets to transfer to a foreign country, foreign organization or its members objects, and intelligence for the benefit of other countries, harming the interests of Georgia or the collection and transmission of other information on behalf of a foreign organization.
Chinchaladze said the trial of photographers will begin on Sept. 1 and the process will be closed, as the case is of security classification.
The indictment provides imprisonment for a term of 8 to 12 years.
According to the lawyers the arrested pleaded themselves not guilty. Abdaladze continues hunger strike.