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    TBILISI COURT ACQUITS 3 CHECHENS WHO VIOLATED RUSSO-GEORGIAN BORDER

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    TBILISI, February 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Marina Kvaratskhelia) - Tbilisi's district court released on Friday three Chechens detained in the summer of 2002 when they violated the Russo-Georgian border with weapons in hands. They were accused of violating the Georgian state border and illegal carrying of weapons.

    The lawyer of the accused said the prosecution failed to prove their guilt. The Chechens whom Moscow demanded to extradite to Russia were released from custody and walked away from the court.

    In the summer of 2002, a group of 13 armed Chechens who attacked Russian military managed to get away from pursuit. Asked to extradite them, Georgia passed five persons to Russia. Another two turned out to be Georgian nationals from the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia near Chechnya. Another militant had the status of a refugee that protected him from extradition. The Georgian court did not admit the guilt of two Chechens, and today it rejected the guilt of another three militants from the same group.

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