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Former Georgian President's Son Charged With Spying For Russia

The late former president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia (undated)
The late former president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia (undated)
TBILISI -- The son of former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia has officially been accused of collaborating with Russian intelligence services, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was arrested in October for allegedly shooting and injuring his neighbor, David Bazhelidze. But this week he received documents regarding that case and also was told that he is being charged with cooperating with the Russian secret services.

During mass protests in Tbilisi in November 2007, Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was arrested and accused of working with Russian agents. The charges were later dropped and he was released.

Supporters of Zviad Gamsakhurdia and his son are holding protests in front of the U.S., Swiss, and Lithuanian embassies in Tbilisi, demanding that the new charges against Gamsakhurdia be dropped.

Tsotne Gamsakhurdia's lawyers announced that their client believes the charges against him are politically motivated.

Zviad Gamsakhurdia became the first democratically elected president of Georgia in 1991. He died under mysterious circumstances on December 31, 1993, at the age of 54 in the Zugdidi region during an unsuccessful attempt to reestablish control over the country.