Prime Minister: “Any discrediting word against state security weakens our country”

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says progress has been made in the investigation of the leak of private videos on the internet. Photo by the Prime Minister’s webpage., 17 Mar 2016 - 12:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says any word that discredits Georgia's state security services weakens the country. 

PM Kvirikashvili made the statement at today’s Governmental meeting in capital Tbilisi in the wake of the recent leak of sex tapes on the internet, and opposition political party’s accusations of the failure of law enforcement bodies to prevent such an act.

The PM said this negative approach towards the state security systems by the opposition and others was "political speculation” and he appealed to them to think more about Georgia’s image and interests before making critical and unfounded statements.

I want to remind to our opponents that it was our Government that launched crucial reforms in the Interior Ministry, State Security Service and Prosecutor’s Office. It was the merit of the reforms we promoted through the involvement of all the above mentioned bodies [that allowed us] to reach a higher level of democracy,” the Prime Minister said.
I want to repeat that any word said against these institutions weakens our country … [and] the fact that reforms have not been completed yet does not mean a person should discredit the state institutions. We face serious challenges and should be more aware that this type of attitude affects our country,” Kvirikashvili stressed. 

Immediately after the explicit videos were leaked online an investigation launched to find the culprit, and this quick action was because the Government realised how immoral it was to leak the videos online.

He also stressed "certain progress” had been made regarding the investigation.

I want to say that the Prosecutor’s Office is actively investigating the leak of surveillance videos on the internet. All law enforcement bodies are involved. 
I believe it is an issue of dignity the Government to forever put a stop to terrorising our own people with such recordings. I hope the investigation will be successful,” the PM stressed.

Videos of the past

Hundreds of videos reflecting the private life of Georgian citizens were illegally taped and stored by the previous United National Movement (UNM) government to blackmail people. 

The majority of videos were publicly destroyed by the current Government in 2013 after the Georgian Dream coalition defeated UNM in 2012. Only a small number of videos that were not related to a person’s private life were saved to help any future investigations.

However since 2014 several videos of a sexual nature have been released on the internet; the latest occurring on March 11 and 14, 2016.

One video released on YouTube on March 11 allegedly showing an opposition party leader, caused a stir in Georgia and generated significant public backlash.

About 135 people watched the footage online before law enforcers contacted YouTube administration and blocked the video, reported local media.

On March 14 another video similar in content appeared on Youtube but it was immediately blocked. 

On March 15 the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia charged five people for keeping this type of illegal videos but the agency did not specify whether these people were responsible for the leak of the two videos.

Government members and Georgian Dream coalition representatives said the leak of the videos was "an attack on the Government” and many believed UNM, who were likely to still possess copies of the illegally obtained surveillance videos, stood behind the crime. 

However UNM claimed the Government and law enforcers were to blame for leaking the videos. 

Furthermore, leader of the Free Democrats political party Irakli Alasania alleged there was one group within the current Government that was not controlled by Prime Minister Kvirikashvili who were responsible for spreading the videos. Alasania claimed this group was ruled by Georgian Dream founder and former Prime Minsiter Bidzina Ivanishvili.