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Photo-reportersí case opened

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 8
Georgiaís Chief Prosecutorís Office says they have arrested one and charged another former official of the United National Movement (UNM) leadership for exceeding official powers and insulting personal dignity regarding the notorious photo-reportersí case.

The Office stressed that the espionage charges against four photographers were ďinventedĒ under the UNM authorities, as the people took the photos of an opposition rally dispersal in central Tbilisi on May 26 2011, which were then spread throughout the international media and angered the UNM administration.

Davit Devnozashvili, the former Deputy Head of the Tbilisi Territorial Division of the Department of Counterintelligence of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, was arrested for exceeding official powers under violence and by insulting the personal dignity of a victim.

As for Alexander Mukhadze, the former director of N8 prison, an indictment has been issued against him.

The Prosecutorís Office stressed they have already addressed the Court of Appeals to re-check the case and remove the convict status from photographers Giorgi Abdalazde, Zurab Kurtsikidze, Irakli and Natela Gedenidze.

The Prosecutorís Office announced they have already studied the case and they had all the necessary evidence to prove the people were innocent.

If found guilty by the court, Devnozashvili and Mukhadze will face five to eight years behind bars, as according to the Prosecutorís Office the accused were key players in undertaking psychological and physical pressure on the photographers for them to admit to charges they had nothing to do with.

Speaking with media, the photographers stressed it was due to the local and international media they were released from prison via a plea bargain shortly after their arrest, as protest rallies were being held in Georgia demanding the release of the photographers.

They also spoke out about the pressure they had to experience when arrested.

Now the main topic of the interest for the photographers is who ordered their arrest, as the people who fulfilled the order have already been revealed.