13:26 GMT +3 hours27 November 2014
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RIA Novosti Georgia bureau chief faces forgery allegations

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The head of RIA Novosti's bureau in Georgia is being investigated on suspicion of forging a driving license in a case his lawyers say it totally without merit.

TBILISI, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - The head of RIA Novosti's bureau in Georgia is being investigated on suspicion of forging a driving license in a case his lawyers say it totally without merit.

Besik Pipia has denied using a forged license, issued in 1991, after he lost the original document in 1977.

He said he hoped the criminal case against him was not politically motivated.

"I hope that the investigation... is simply a misunderstanding, not an echo of the worsening Russian-Georgian relations," he said in a letter to the Georgian minister of justice, adding that he continued to work "to ensure that the last bridges linking our two countries are not burned."

Georgian lawyer Gia Meparishvili said Pipia had done no wrong and that an incorrect entry in his driving license had been made by a Georgian Interior Ministry officer.