Jan 29 2009
Two ethnic Armenians accused of espionage in Georgia
Tbilisi, 29 January: A Tbilisi court has decided to sentence to two
months in preliminary detention two representatives of the Armenian
diaspora in Georgia – Grigor Minasyan and Sargis Hakobjanyan –
suspected of espionage.
The Georgian counterintelligence detained Minasyan and Hakobjanyan,
residents of the town of Akhaltsikhe (administrative centre of
Samtskhe-Javakheti Province), on 22 January. Their apartments were
searched and some hard disks confiscated.
Grigor Minasyan is the head of an Armenian youth centre in Akhaltsikhe
while Sargis Hakobjanyan heads the Charles Aznavour charity
organization. They are accused of espionage and of forming an illegal
Despite protests on the part of the Armenian population in
Samtskhe-Javakheti, the Georgian authorities insist that accusations
against Minasyan and Hakobjanyan are well-founded. [Georgian] Minister
of State for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili said that "there are
small groups muddling water in the region, acting in accordance with
orders from a neighbouring country [referring to Armenia] under the
guise of NGOs".