International Traffic Incident

Loren Wille feels caught in the middle, reports CBS News White House Correspondent Bill Plante. He is being held in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, waiting to learn if he must stand trial for homicide after driving the car in a traffic accident in which his Georgian translator was killed.

"I'm a careful driver," says Wille, an American aid worker for Catholic Relief Services. "It was a bad accident. I don't know how I lost control."

Wille's family traveled from Iowa to see him Tuesday in Tbilisi, Georgia's capital. They believe the only reason he's being held is because a former Georgian diplomat, Georgi Makharadze, is serving jail time in the U.S. and Wille has become a bargaining chip.

His sister-in-law, Margaret Wille, says, "We have people that were at the scene at the place where they were trying to interrogate him, and they told him then it was payback time."

Georgi Makharadze in custody.

After a night of drinking two years ago, Makharadze had an auto accident in downtown Washington, D.C. in which a 16-year-old girl was killed. Under intense pressure, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze waived the diplomat's immunity and Makharadze went to trial.

During a recent White House visit, Shevardnadze insisted this case is not linked to Loren Wille's.

"It's absolutely excluded," says Shevardnadze. "You'll see it. When trial takes place, it will be a fair trial. I cannot interfere with that."

The family of the woman who died in Wille's accident told him Tuesday they don't hold him responsible. But when Wille's family met with Georgian legislators they received no assurances he would be released.

"I don't know why I'm here," says Wille, "it's out of my control."

Georgia wants its diplomat returned to serve his sentence at home. The Justice Department is considering the request. The State Department denies there is any link between the two cases.