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Georgian President justifies phone tapping

The Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has asked people 'not to be concerned' about authorities tapping citizens' phones. His comments come as the country's Prosecutor General provided media with tapes of Badri Patarkatsishvili's phone conversations.

Discussions between employees of Georgia's most popular opposition channel, Imedi TV, were also made public.

Authorities took the station off air saying it was broadcasting calls for a violent overthrow of the government while mass protests were taking place at the beginning of November.

Meanwhile, one of the opposition's leaders claims more than 70 Labour Party members remain in custody after being detained by police during a protest in the capital Tbilisi.

But Georgia's Interior Ministry insists far fewer people were detained.

Alleged Azeri hand in Georgian protest crackdown

According to RIA Novosti news agency, a telephone conversation, posted on the website of the Georgian Conservative Party, reportedly just as major anti-government protests raged through the capital Tbilisi on November 7, reveals evidence the government was planning to strengthen its crackdown on protesters.

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