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13 January 2006 -- A court in Tbilisi today rejected a petition to release two independent television journalists from pre-trial custody.
The panel reportedly justified its decision by saying that once they are set free the two men may attempt to obstruct the legal proceedings launched against them.
Shalva Ramishvili and Davit Kokhreidze, respectively the leading anchorman and the director-general of the 202 television channel, were arrested in August of last year on charges of blackmailing a member of Georgia's ruling party. They both deny the accusations.
Opposition leaders and independent journalists say the case is politically motivated.
(Prime News, Rustavi 2)