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‘Spy’ American says he’s never been to Georgia

  

                                  

    Han Ximin, Liubeibei

    GUANGDONG teacher and U.S. citizen, Michael Lee White, who was accused by Russian officials as being a U.S. agent involved in the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia, said during an interview with the Shenzhen Daily on Thursday that he had never been to Georgia.

    Russian officials claimed to have found the 41-year-old former GI’s passport in Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia.

    White said during a telephone interview Thursday that when the war was raging last month, he was in his hometown of Austin, Texas, caring for his sick father.

    White had registered at Guangdong University of Business Studies on Aug. 29 to teach. He signed a contract with the university in July before leaving for the United States.

    According to White, he did lose his passport during a flight from Moscow to New York in December 2005. He was passing through Moscow and stayed there a couple of days on his way from Kazakhstan back to New York.

    He said that he was given a new one the same year and that his birthday is July 12, different from the date Russia claims.

    Russian Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn showed reporters a copy of what he said was White’s passport Aug. 28. He said it was found in a basement among items that belonged to retreating Georgian soldiers.

    Before taking the post at the university, White taught trade and accounting at Shenzhen Cambridge College, a private school in Bao’an District.

    (Special report on Page 10)

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