Patriarchate on leaked files: we are waiting for explanations from gov’t

  • The files contained the personal data of top clerics pointing at alleged crimes such as spying for Russia, taking bribes and sexual relations with minors. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 17 Sep 2021 - 15:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Patriarchate says it is waiting for the Georgian government to explain alleged leaked files on clerics from the ​​State Security Service (SSS) which surfaced on September 13.

Secretary of Georgian Patriarch Ilia II and Archpriest Mikael Botkoveli stated that the Patriarchate of Georgia will make an official statement regarding the issue in about two days, noting that a meeting of a Holy Synod has not been scheduled yet.

We are waiting for explanations from the government regarding the purpose of this (alleged illegal surveillance) and why it was done,” archpriest Botkoveli said. 

Georgian media outlets received a link to thousands of files titled 'Georgian State Security Sevice’s compromising materials against the Patriarchate’ from an unidentified sender which contained data of illegal surveillance since 2014, under the Georgian Dream (GD) government.

An investigation is looking into the authenticity of allegedly leaked files and representatives of various media outlets are being questioned regarding the issue. 

The files contained the personal data of top clerics pointing at alleged crimes such as spying for Russia, taking bribes and sexual relations with minors. 

The ruling party accuses the largest opposition United National Movement (UNM) party, saying that it is a ‘dirty, anti-state provocation aiming to spark tension in the country ahead of the October 2 municipal elections.’ 

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

The files have been removed from the internet and are no longer available for the public.

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