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Son of Late President Arrested for Alleged Espionage
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Sep.'08 / 12:51

Police arrested Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, son of late Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, at Tbilisi airport on Wednesday evening, September 3, the Georgian Public Broadcaster reported.

Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, who was wanted by Georgia for alleged espionage in favor of Russia and for alleged conspiracy to overthrow the government, was reportedly arrested upon arrival from Moscow via Baku.

Charges against Gamsakhurdia were brought in November 2007. On November 7, after riot police broke up anti-government demonstrations, the authorities released a video tape showing Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, who is a brother of Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, the leader of the opposition Freedom Party, meeting with a diplomat from the Russian embassy in Tbilisi. In a separate taped phone conversation, Tsotne Gamsakhurdia tells his brother, Konstantine, how the opposition could lose momentum after gathering 150,000 people outside Parliament on November 2.

Tsotne Gamsakhurdia’s lawyer told the Georgian Public Broadcaster that her client strongly denies the charges against him and had refused to plead guilty.

Similar charges were brought against Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, in November, but were later dropped.

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