State Security Service claims reveal of plans for "assassination", blocking of institutions directed by Mikheil Saakashvili

  • The state agency's spokesperson said the body would "take measures" to prevent the planned "provocation" by the opposition. Photo via State Security Service of Georgia., 6 Nov 2021 - 12:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's State Security Service has claimed it has identified plans for "assassination" of an opposition figure and blocking of government institutions by organisers of large rallies expected on Saturday in support of the imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili.

In brief comments for the local press on Saturday, the security agency said it had obtained "operational information" indicating "certain political groups" were "actively discussing the possibility [...] [of] assassination of one of the leaders of the opposition."

The SSS said the plans also included involvement of "former employees of the law-enforcement agencies" in rallies planned in Tbilisi as well as outside the prison facility in the city of Rustavi, located outside the capital city, as well as recruitment of "certain officers" of the current law enforcement, with the goal of "escalat[ing] the situation to the highest extent possible."

Blocking of state bodies including the parliament, administration offices of the government and the president and the interior and justice ministries are also in plans of the groups, the service's briefing said.

The security body spokesperson did not name specific groups or individuals in the comments, but said the actions - with "aim [of] overthrowing state power" - were being planned by Saakashvili via instructions issued to "opposition parties" through visitors he received at the Rustavi facility.

The two rallies in Tbilisi and Rustavi were announced by a major part of the political opposition, led by the United National Movement headed by Saakashvili during his years as president, a week ago. The announcements followed refusal by the opposition to acknowledge results of the October 30 municipal election runoff.