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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Appeals Heard in Smuggling Case

TBILISI, Georgia -- A Georgian court held closed hearings Friday on appeals filed by three men convicted of being accomplices of a Russian citizen who smuggled weapons-grade uranium to an agent posing as a rich foreign buyer, a court spokeswoman said.

The investigation of Oleg Khinsagov, which involved both Georgian and CIA agents, caused widespread alarm over security at Russia's nuclear facilities.

Khinsagov was caught early last year trying to sell nearly 100 grams of highly enriched uranium-235.

A Georgian court sentenced him to eight years in prison last July for smuggling, but his lawyer vowed to appeal the sentence.

The Tbilisi Court of Appeals held preliminary hearings on the appeals of three of the four Georgian men convicted of being accomplices of Khinsagov and sentenced to shorter prison terms, prosecutor Keti Chomakhashvili said. He said they did not get to Khinsagov's case.