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Photographers detained in Georgia for spying to be questioned again

RIA Novosti

15:50 21/07/2011 TBILISI, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - A group of four photojournalists recently detained on espionage charges in Georgia will undergo more questioning, a lawyer for one of the photojournalists, Nino Andriashvili, said.

The photojournalists, including Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's personal photographer, Irakli Gedenidze and his wife, were detained in Tbilisi on July 7. Gedenidze's wife was later released.

On July 9, Gedenidze, Georgy Abdaladze, and Zurab Kurtsikidze were accused of providing sensitive information to an "organization operating under the patronage of a foreign state's intelligence service."

"Apparently, the prosecutor's office did not received enough information during the first questioning and has additional questions to the detainees," Andriashvili said.

On July 16, the Georgian Prosecutor's Office said that all the detainees had admitted to being guilty to the charges and their questioning is continuing.

Several Georgian online media on Monday replaced traditional photos with the word "protest" as a token of support to the photojournalists.

The media protest campaign was organized by the Georgia Press Association; such acclaimed agencies as Interpressnews, GHN, Pirveli and others have already joined it.

A letter signed by more than 40 Georgian news outlets said: "Georgian photo reporters Abdaladze, Gedenidze and Kurtsikidze are detained in spite of the fact that no evidence proving their guilt has been provided so far."

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