Police in Georgia have detained five news photographers, including the president's personal photographer and agency correspondents in a possible spying case, local media reported Thursday.
The interior ministry did not respond to requests for information about the arrests or the reasons why the photographers were being held. But the wife of one of those arrested said he had been detained for espionage.
Among those detained were photographers who work for the Associated Press and the European Pressphoto Agency, as well as President Mikheil Saakashvili's personal photographer Irakli Gedenidze, Georgia's private InterPressNews agency said, quoting relatives of the detained.
"I don't know the reason of their detention. I only know that Irakli (Gedenidze) and (his wife) Natia are detained," InterPressNews quoted Gedenidze's mother Marina Andghuladze as saying.
The agency also reported the wife of another of the detained photographers, Giorgi Abdaladze, as saying that his arrest was connected to espionage legislation.
"The explanation (from police) was that he was detained under article 314," which concerns espionage, Abdaladze's wife Nestan Neidze told the agency.
According to InterPressNews, Abdaladze works for the press centre of Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The employer of Natia Gedenidze was not immediately clear.
Shakh Aivazov who works for the Associated Press and Zurab Kurtsikidze who works for European Pressphoto Agency were also held, the agency said.