Georgian presidential aide arrested on suspicion of spying

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Simon Kiladze, a member of the presidential administration, was arrested in his office on accusations of treason and spying.

TBILISI, March 28 (RIA Novosti) - An advisor to Georgia's president was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of spying, the presidential press service said.

Simon Kiladze, a member of the presidential administration, was arrested in his office on accusations of treason and spying.

"Since 2004, Kiladze has been reporting secret information to foreign intelligence services about the president, executives and legislators, visits by state delegations and negotiations, using e-mail and international mail," Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili said.

According to the minister, Kiladze received $20,000 for these services. Merabishvili said Kiladze had sometimes provided information in person during foreign trips.

However, Merabishvili declined to name the "foreign country" Kiladze had allegedly been spying for, but promised to reveal more details about his purported espionage soon.

Kiladze had been in the state chancellery from 1997 and was in charge of foreign press monitoring under the previous president, Eduard Shevardnadze. The latter was overthrown in a popular uprising called "rose revolution" in 2003, which swept West-leaning Mikheil Saakashvili to power.

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