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Georgian President's Office Says Detained Journalists Were Spies

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili

A spokeswoman for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says four Georgian news photographers arrested on July 7 were part of a "spying network."

The spokeswoman added that the photographers' arrests had "nothing to do with their journalism."

The detained photojournalists are accused of spying for a foreign country, although Georgian officials have yet to name the country involved.

The detainees are Zurab Kurtsikidze, a photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency; freelancer Giorgi Abdaladze; and Saakashvili's personal photographer, Irakli Gedenidze, together with his wife Natia Gedenidze, also a photographer.

AP photographer Shakh Aivazov was also briefly detained and released without charges.

Lawyers for Kurtsikidze and Abdaladze say their clients deny wrongdoing.

compiled from agency reports

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