The Georgian top is sceptical about the violent death of TV reporter Georgi Sanaya tracked down to his coverage of sinister developments in the Pankisi gorge crime den, Kakha Targamadze, Interior Minister, said to a news conference. As he said, assumptions do not hold water that the muckraking reporter was killed in an attempt to receive a video footage which proved Interior Ministry officers' contacts with gangs based in the notorious Caucasian gorge. Mr. Targamadze did not bother to explain why his ministry was shrugging off the track. He, nevertheless, talked much about the footage to allege that it had been forged by "people out to paint law-enforcement agencies black". Allegations of police officers being in plot with Pankisi gangs come from "forces anxious to destabilise the country, trigger off bloodshed and seize power" in the melee, said the minister. Employed on the Tbilisi-based independent television company Rustavi 2, Georgi Sanaya was found dead in his flat, July last. The Interior and State Security ministries and the top prosecutor's office are jointly investigating.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign