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Georgian Journalist To Face Trial For Blackmail

30 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A court in Tbilisi has sent journalist Shalva Ramishvili to jail for three months pending trial on charges of blackmail.

Ramishvili, who is also the co-founder of Georgia's 202 private television channel, was detained on 27 August on suspicion of blackmailing parliamentarian Koba Bekauri of Georgia's National Movement ruling party.

Police say Ramishvili attempted to obtain $100,000 from the parliamentarian, threatening to release compromising material on him in case he refused to pay.

During his first court appearance yesterday, Ramishvili once again denied the accusations brought against him.

He said Bekauri offered him money in return for a promise to not broadcast a film allegedly exposing his illegal commercial activities.

(Imedi TV/Civil Georgia)