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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 21:18 GMT 22:18 UK
Georgia files case against Russia
Georgians arrive in Tbilisi onboard a Russian plane. Picture: October 2006
Many Georgians were deported in cargo planes
Georgia has lodged a case against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights after hundreds of its nationals were deported by Moscow.

The case was based on grave violations of its citizens' rights, Tbilisi said.

The deportations began after Georgia briefly detained four Russian officers on spying charges last September.

Russian officials said they did not believe the Strasbourg court would accept the case and that Moscow had the right to deport illegal migrants.

"The lawsuit is based on hundreds of cases of flagrant abuses of the human rights of Georgian citizens and ethnic Georgians by the Russian Federation during their deportations," the Georgian justice ministry said in a statement.

A number of deportees died from medical conditions during the deportation process in recent months, triggering angry reaction in Tbilisi.

Georgian officials have not commented on what kind of ruling they expected the court could take against Moscow.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said: "Actions of this kind are not conducive to the normalisation of relations between Russia and Georgia."

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