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Moscow Lawyer Facing Trial In Georgia

TBILISI -- A Moscow lawyer and businessman is facing trial in Georgia on charges of obstructing the work of a journalist in the city of Zugdidi, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Vladimir Vakhania, who holds both Russian and Georgian citizenship, is accused of using force last March to confiscate a journalist's tape recorder and of attempting to delete information from the tape.

Vakhania denies the charges.

He and his relatives say the trial is politically motivated. They say Georgian authorities are retaliating against Vakhania's political activities. Vakhania has been a vocal critic of Georgian foreign policy.

Georgia's Deputy Ombudsman Georgy Chkheidze told RFE/RL that his office is actively involved in the process and is thoroughly monitoring Vakhania's case.