Leaked files: investigation underway, journalists being questioned

  • The State Security Service (SSS) called on media outlets 'to refrain from disseminating inaccurate information until the end of the investigation.' Photo: Reginfo.ge.

Agenda.ge, 16 Sep 2021 - 19:16, Tbilisi,Georgia

Police are looking into the authenticity of allegedly leaked files on clerics and politicians from the ​​State Security Service (SSS) which surfaced on September 13. 

Georgian media outlets received thousands of files titled 'Georgian State Security Sevice’s compromising materials against Patriarchate’ online from an unidentified sender which contained data of possible illegal surveillance by the state body. 

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office is questioning the journalists from different TV channels after it urged the representatives of various media outlets to cooperate with law enforcers. 

The GD claims that the largest opposition United National Movement (UNM) party stands behind the leaked files calling it a ‘dirty, anti-state provocation aiming to spark tension in the country ahead of the October 2 municipal elections.’ 

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated earlier today that the SSS will prevent the surveillance, noting that many people and countries have the opportunity to carry out such activities. 

It has to be identified, who listened, how they listened, whether they listened or not...An investigation has been launched and everything will be clear,” Garibashvili said. 

The GD also stated that former PM Giorgi Gakharia who now leads the For Georgia political party after his resignation in February following a dispute with the ruling party and former deputy head of SSS Aleksandre Khojevanishvili who is a brother of For Georgia’s member Giorgi Khojevanishvili might be connected to the case. 

However, Aleksandre Khojevanishvili denied the accusations and stated that during his term in the SSS he had not been a curator of an operational-technical agency. 

The majority of the opposition parties, NGOs and Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria have stated that the SSS might be using the data obtained by illegal surveillance to blackmail individuals. 

Two opposition political parties Lelo for Georgia and Gakharia’s For Georgia demanded the establishment of a parliamentary investigation commission on the case with the involvement of the Georgian ombudsperson and foreign experts.