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South Ossetian Journalist's Trial Begins In Tskhinvali

Fatima Margieva in a Tskhinvali courtroom in March

Fatima Margieva in a Tskhinvali courtroom in March

The trial of journalist Fatima Margieva on charges of illegal possession of weapons began this week in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus reports.

Police found a gun and explosives in Margieva's house in Tskhinvali last year. In February she was taken into custody by police.

Margieva said the case against her is politically motivated and retaliation by local authorities for her journalistic work. She has hired a lawyer from North Ossetia, Lana Khachirova, to represent her.

Khachirova told RFE/RL that South Ossetian authorities have not given her access to all of the documents related to the case. She said she has noted numerous procedural violations in the case.

She expressed certainty of an acquittal if those objections are taken into account.

Margieva's daughter, Yelena Kaloyeva, told RFE/RL that the court ruled not to hear all of the testimony by witnesses at the opening session of the trial on April 12.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 22.