The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the release of alleged files on clerics and politicians leaked from Georgia’s State Security Service (SSS).
The Prosecutor’s Office has urged everyone, including media outlets, which have the files to cooperate with investigators.
We also urge everyone to refrain from releasing personal information or identifying individuals (from the leaked files),” said the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
Georgian media outlets received a link to thousands of files yesterday from one ‘Hakim Pasha,’ titled 'Georgian State Security Sevice’s compromising materials against Patriarchate.’
The unidentified sender wrote that he had spent several years working in the SSS, ‘the agency which is the biggest threat to the country, which listens to everyone and which has made the church one of the biggest evils in Georgia.’
The files allegedly contained data obtained via illegal surveillance since 2014, under the Georgian Dream (GD) government.
The files contain personal data of top clerics. Some of the files point at alleged crimes like sexual relations with minors, taking bribes in exchange for mediation to pardon an inmate, spying for Russia and other crimes.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated that ‘it is a dirty provocation of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party against state institutions.’
The opposition, Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria and International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy have stated that the SSS is likely to be engaged in illegal surveillance to use the data to blackmail individuals.
The files have been removed from the Internet.