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Jail scandal hits Georgia ahead of elections

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 - 01:26

Sept. 20 - Protests mount in Georgia over the prison abuse video which President Mikheil Saakashvili says was paid for by opposition leaders. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Thousands of Georgian students line the streets of Tbilisi Thursday... it's a third day of protests after video surfaced showing the torture and rape of inmates in the capital's main prison. Outrage over the video -- which aired on two opposition party tv channels -- prompted the the resignation of the Interior Minister as well as the prisons minister. The government says the video was staged and recorded by guards who had been bribed by "politically motivated persons". The outcry threatens President MIKHEIL Saakashvili's party's chances of keeping power in the upcoming October election. He now blames his opponents. (SOUNDBITE) (Georgian) GEORGIAN PRESIDENT MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, SAYING: "I want to address those people who were financing this. How can everything be traded for elections and how can everything be used for political dividends in this country?" Relatives convened at the prison to find out what happened. Some are let inside. (SOUNDBITE) (Georgian) NANA MARGOSHVILI, PRISONER'S MOTHER, SAYING: "He is fine, thanks God. But who knows what will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow." Protesters say they plan to continue to make their case on the street.

Jail scandal hits Georgia ahead of elections

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 - 01:26

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