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19 Sep, 2009 21:53

Georgian court: journalist not guilty

A Georgian court has dropped fraud charges against a Russian journalist.

Two weeks ago, Besik Pipiya, the head of Russia's RIA news agency in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, was accused of faking his drivers license.

Pipiya argued the Georgian licensing authority made a small mistake when they issued it almost twenty years ago.

“The criminal case is closed in view of the absence of acts that would fall under the criminal code,” the journalist’s lawyer explained, according to RIA Novosti.

Besik Pipiya, himself, has acknowledged those who supported him.

“This is a triumph of justice. I’m grateful to all who supported me,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has welcomed the court’s decision to drop the charges.

The incident sparked a row between Moscow and Tbilisi. Russia’s Foreign Ministry insisted that the case was politically motivated, while Svetlana Mironyuk, the news agency’s Editor-in-Chief, had said that the charges were unsubstantiated.