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Arrested Georgian photographer had access to sensitive information

RIA Novosti

17:34 11/07/2011 TBILISI, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - Photographer Georgiy Abadaladze, whom Georgia recently arrested on espionage charges, had access to sensitive information as he was an employee of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said on Monday.

Four photojournalists, including Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's personal photographer and his wife, were detained in Georgia on July 7. They were accused of providing sensitive information to an "organization operating under the patronage of a foreign state's intelligence service." Three of the arrested Georgian photographers, Georgy Abdaladze, Zurab Kurtsikidze and Irakli Gedenidze, on July 9 were accused of espionage.

"He [Abdaladze] was an employee of the Foreign Ministry's Press and Information Department," Kalandadze said, adding that the photographer was employed in 2009. "Proceeding from the peculiarities of the Foreign Ministry's work, any of its employees has access to sensitive information," she continued.

"Any employee working in the ministry's building has everyday access with diplomatic meetings and information, which can be obtained in the ministry's halls through technical equipment."

Kalandadze emphasized that only investigation into the case can establish whether an information leak from the Foreign Ministry has taken place.

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