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Experts: "the case of photographers" was not related to espionage2011-07-25 13:36
A well-known Russian expert Pavel Salin is sure that the result of Georgian "case of photographers" indicates the lack of serious evidence in the local judicial system.
Recall, last week the Tbilisi Court granted the prosecutor's office' appeal to issue a conditional sentence for photographers Zurab Kurtsikidze, George Abdaladze, Irakli Gedenidze, and his wife last Natela accused of espionage.
In a statement the court recognized the norm recorded in the mediation as a legal and found photographers guilty on the submitted items.
During the trial defendants have pleaded their guilt and confirmed that they did not experience any pressure, neither moral nor physical.
All four photographers were accused on the first paragraph of Article 314 of the Criminal Code of Georgia (collection, keeping and transmission of secret government documents, information, data and other material, or theft with a view to transfer to foreign organizations or their representatives, or the collection and transfer of information on the order of foreign organizations to the detriment of the interests of Georgia).
This article provides the penalty in form of imprisonment from eight to 12 years. However, on basis of the deal with the investigation and the fact that the defendants have fully admitted their guilt and gave investigators important information, the prosecution appealed to apply leniency for photographers.
Thus, Zurab Kurtsikidze was imprisoned for 2 years, but this sentence will be replaced by suspended sentence and probationary period for 3 years.
George Abdaladze was sentenced to 3 years, but it will be replaced by a conditional probationary period for 4 years.
Irakli Gedenidze was sentenced to 3 years. This sentence was replaced by a conditional probationary period for 3 years.
Natela Gedenidze was sentenced to six months and probationary period for a half years.
In turn, Pavel Salin has stressed that the outcome of the sitting of the court, as well as the fact of its sudden nature, confirms that "the case of photographers" had little common with espionage. "A version that photographers have recorded some unpleasant for the Georgian authorities events related to the dispersal of demonstrations, or with the personal life of Mikhail Saakashvili finds its confirmation. It was the reason that they were arrested on charges of espionage" - VZGLYAD cited the words of expert.
According to him, arrested photographers really could send their pictures to Russians. "But it wasn't espionage even despite the fact that it would injure the image of the Georgian side ... The version about spying has crumbled. They would not request for conditional sentence, even in the case of cooperation with the investigation, if there was substantial evidence" - Paul Salin said.