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    Russian cab driver gets 7 years in prison for treason

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    A court in the south Russian republic of North Ossetia has sentenced a cab driver to seven years in prison for treason after he admitted to spying for Georgia.

    VLADIKAVKAZ, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - A court in the south Russian republic of North Ossetia has sentenced a cab driver to seven years in prison for treason after he admitted to spying for Georgia.

    The Prosecutor General's Office said Alexander Khachirov was recruited while in Georgia, where he was approached by border authorities. Investigators said Khachirov's taxi was fitted with a hidden video camera, which he used to secretly film Russian military movements and gather intelligence for Georgia.

    Igor Cheldiyev, one of the prosecutors, said that although the prosecution demanded a sentence of nine years in prison, it was satisfied with the court's decision.

    He said Khachirov's activities inflicted severe harm on Russia.

    "The information passed on by him [Khachirov] was of great importance and has inflicted real damage to Russia's interests," Cheldiyev said.

    Last month a Russian military court sentenced Lt. Col. Mikhail Khachidze, a deputy unit commander in the North Caucasus Military District, to six years in prison for high treason and espionage and stripped him of his rank.

    Khachidze was recruited by Georgian military intelligence in October 2007. He was arrested in August 2008 during the conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia.

     

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