27 Sep 2016 - 18:29
United National Movement (UNM) members who were summoned to appear at Georgia's State Security Service this evening have refused to accept their summons.
UNM members Akaki Minashvili and Nugzar Tsiklauri said they were "busy" being involved in their party's pre-election campaigning and they had no time to go to the agency.
Meanwhile they said they would answer questions if representatives of the State Security Service visited them at the UNM office.
FIRST UPDATED: 17:13pm
United National Movement members Akaki Minashvili and Nugzar Tsiklauri have been summoned to the Counter-Intelligence Department of Georgia's State Security Service for questioning at 6pm this evening.
State Security Service spokesperson Nino Giorgobiani announced earlier this evening "all individuals mentioned in the released recordings will be questioned".
Giorgobiani said a special examination would identify the voices in the recordings.
She also said special requests would be sent to "all relevant countries" to provide legal assistance "in accordance with the interests of the investigation".
"The State Security Service will not allow any kind of destabilisation to take place in the country," she said.
Georgia’s State Security Service has launched an investigation in an alleged "conspiracy to alter constitutional structure of Georgia by violence” after a secret recording of a conversation allegedly between Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili and former ruling United National Movement (UNM) party leaders leaked on Youtube overnight.
The Counter-Intelligence Department of the State Security Service said in a statement all essential activities would be carried out to establish the origin and authenticity of the recording.
All participants of the recording will be questioned. The relevant notices will be sent to them today,” the agency said.
In the recording the group discussed a "revolutionary scenario” after UNM loses the Parliamentary Elections on October 8, 2016.
The conversation was allegedly between Saakashvili and UNM leaders and Members of Parliament Akaki Minashvili, Gigi Tsereteli, Nugzar Tsiklauri, Petre Tsiskarishvili and Akaki Bobokhidze.
In the recording, Saakashvili was heard saying: "We need a revolutionary scenario. We appear as losers, which is why we need to mobilise the masses.”
Tsiklauri was heard replying: "They [Georgian Dream] will defeat us. They’ll win the elections regardless, I know it, and everyone knows it.”
The recording was uploaded to the Youtube channel of the online edition of Creative News Georgia on 26 September (just after midnight on Sept 27 local Tbilisi time). Creative Georgia News has a website as well, which operates in Russian language and has not been updated since July 26, 2016. The domain was registered on April 25, 2013 by an individual in Karachay-Cherkessia, the Russian Federation.
The recording contained a phrase where Bobokhidze allegedly said: "200 people fill tents on Rustaveli Ave. We should calculate our expenses carefully: 10 GEL per person per day, how much will it cost to finance a 200-man rally in tents for 2-3 months?”
Then he added: "I’ve participated in a coup, a military coup. What can be more dangerous than that?”
A person understood to be Tsiklauri replied: "I think what Kako [Akaki Bobokhidze] says is our best shot.”
Then another voice, believed to be Saakashvili, said: "I have full confidence in Kako’s intuition. We need a revolutionary scenario. Otherwise…”
Tsiskarishvili’s voice was then heard adding: "They’ll win again, and then…”
When discussing the rally and a revolutionary scenario, the voice understood to belong to Tsiklauri said: "We should work on Ivanishvili’s house as well.”