Georgia Arrests 4 Photographers on Spy Charges

Posted July 7th, 2011 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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Georgia has arrested four news photographers and accused them of spying, including the personal photographer for President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Georgia's interior ministry says the four journalists include the president's photographer Irakli Gedenidze and his photographer wife Natia, European Pressphoto Agency photographer Zurab Kurtsikidze, and Foreign Ministry press photographer Georgy Abdaladze.

Reports said police raided the photographers' homes during the night and seized computers, cell phones, and other equipment.

The four are accused of working with an organization acting undercover for the intelligence services of a foreign country against the interests of Georgia. Officials in Tbilisi often accuses Russia of operating spy networks on its territory.

On Wednesday, a Georgian court sentenced nine people, including at least one Russian, to jail terms ranging from 11 to 14 years for spying for Russia.

Georgia and Russia fought a short, but brutal, war over territory in 2008.