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South Ossetia hands over detained journalists to Georgia as goodwill gesture

April 17, 2014, 0:14 UTC+3 TSKHINVAL
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TSKHINVAL, April 16, /ITAR-TASS/. South Ossetia on Wednesday, April 16, handed over to Georgia four journalists, detained for illegal border crossing, without trial or penalties as “a goodwill gesture”.

Three Georgian TV3 journalists were detained in the village of Adzvi, Tskhinval region, on Tuesday, April 15, for videotaping border infrastructure.

“South Ossetia handed the journalists over to the Georgian authorities as a goodwill gesture without judicial investigation and administrative penalties awarded in such situations,” the press service of the South Ossetian State Security Committee told ITAR-TASS.

Moscow said the illegal crossing of the South Ossetian border by the Georgian journalists was a deliberate act aimed at complicating the meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and Georgian prime minister’s special representative for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze in Prague.

“It’s noteworthy that this is not the first such provocation organised on the eve of Prague meetings,” the ministry said.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry voiced concern over the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement regarding the detention of the three Georgian TV3 journalists.

“The detention of the Georgian journalists by Russian troops is illegal,” the ministry said.

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