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Second trial over "Russian spies"2010-12-02 12:34
Legal proceedings against Russian spies in Georgia can start on December 14-15. Several Russian citizens that have been imprisoned since spring will sit in the prisoners' dock. Among people involved in the spy scandal are mostly Batumi residents, so the trial will be held in Batumi. Other articles were found to pass sentence on the suspects and justify their imprisonment. Only Mikhail Vyalov, an involuntary participant of this episode, has escaped accusation of espionage. But Georgian counter-intelligence service promises to get at him anyway, already in prison.
Little has changed for the better after the Russian citizens detained in Georgia were visited by the Russian consul. The only thing that the diplomat advised to Ruslan Skrylnikov, the son of one of the accused, was "not to waste time given relations between our countries". Indeed, the relatives and rights defenders are not twiddling their thumbs while Russian diplomats keep promising to make arrangements for Skrylnikov's transfer to hospital as a serious patient and provide for Georgian translation of his testimony.
Georgia's Spy Thriller: Too Much Fiction?
Against this background the case of Mikhail Vyalov, Skrylnikov's companion in misfortune looks better: this Russian citizen was not accused of espionage and will continue his prison term on a fabricated accusation of producing counterfeit currency. Still, if Russian authorities keep ignoring his case, serious problems will arise. After Vyalov refused to enter the so-called plea bargain with Georgia's counter-intelligence, the special services promised he would never be out of prison.
The point of the "bargain" was this: Vyalov was supposed to testify against Yuri Skrylnikov confirming that the latter had brought fake dollar bills and gave them to him. Basically, they both were found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for currency sale.
In an interview with GeorgiaTimes Mikhail's brother Vladimir said: the counter intelligence tried in vain to break Mikheil down and force him to make a confession of what he did not commit. Now the agents are afraid that when Vyalov is released (his term is five and a half years), he will tell an interesting story about the way Georgian special services work.