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Official: Saakashvili's personal photographer accused of serious crime

Politics Materials 13 July 2011 19:04
"Skepticism" regarding the charges against the arrested photographers have been "exaggerated", he said at the Dialogue program of the FirstGeorgian television on July 12.
Official: Saakashvili's personal photographer accused of serious crime

Georgia, Tbilisi, July 13 /Trend N.Kirtzkhalia/

Georgian National Security Council Secretary Giga Bokeria called an assumption that the photographers were arrested for photos taken on May 26 as "the most incomprehensible theory of deep conspiracy".

"Skepticism" regarding the charges against the arrested photographers have been "exaggerated", he said at the Dialogue program of the First Georgian television on July 12.

"For me, the charge is absolutely clear - it is not connected with professional activity, transferring photos or other actions that contain a journalistic perspective. They are accused of transferring confidential information and documents stamped "Secret," Bokeria said, stressing that the President's personal photographer is accused of serious crime.

Bokeria said he can not understand the statement about the fact that allegedly the arrest of photographers is a restriction of freedom of the press or campaign against the media.

"It would be nice if those people who are genuinely concerned about this matter, showed a greater responsibility by ringing alarm bells," he said.

He believes that the public interest in the case of photojournalists is quite understandable, although it does not mean that such will be fully disclosed.

"The law reflects a reservation that such cases require secrecy, and not all details are announced," Bokeria said.

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. They are accused of spying. Natia Gedenidze was released on bail.

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.

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