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Photographers have their tongues loosened2011-07-19 20:19
Georgia's Themis is quick to build up a case against three photographers detained on suspicion of espionage in favor of Russia. All of them have already given confessionary statements. It is not important how these confessions were beaten out. The lawyers shrug their shoulders since their clients denied their guilt. The trial is scheduled for autumn but the attorneys highlight - a verdict can't be based on evidence only. That means the Georgian ministry of interior will have to produce proofs to the society.
The information that Zurab Kurtsikidze, a representative of European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), Irakli Gedenidze, a photographer at the presidential administration and Georgi Abdaladze, a photographer at the Ministry of foreign affairs of Georgia gave a confession was reported at the end of last week. Georgia's foreign office, however, refused to comment on the fact.
The situation clarified by weekend with Georgi Abdaladze's lawyers confirming the fact of confessionary statements made by their client. Yet, the lawyers were not sure of the photographer's sincerity. "Everyone had an impression that the confession evokes serious suspicions", - Civil.ge quotes Ramaz Chinchaladze, one of the lawyers. He told that shortly before the start of official interrogation Abdaladze was not going to plead guilty repeating he had not committed any crime, particularly espionage. However, when Abdaladze's investigating officer and prosecutor appeared he confessed his guilt to everyone's surprise.
"Abdaladze's confessionary statements are partially strange and partially unclear", - lawyer Merab Chikovani agrees with Chinchaladze. Eka Beselia, head of Solidarity with Political Prisoners rights defending organization, thinks that Abdaladze was pressurized at the time of the inquest. Besides, the evidence recorded on video contains a number of discrepancies.
The lawyers are not going to give up. The evidence beaten out of the photographer doesn't mean that the case is cleared up. According to David Korkotashvili, a criminal lawyer, the confession has legal force only when it is made at a trial. It is taken into consideration for a verdict. Giya Meparishvili, Georgia's former prosecutor general confirms that. "To condemn a person on the basis of one piece of evidence - albeit a confessionary statement - is impossible, - he is sure. - Criminal persecution of a person and detention are possible only when the evidence is consolidated". According to Meparishvili, there has to be at least two pieces of evidence.