Former Deputy Head of State Security Service convicted on exceeding authority, privacy invasion

Soso Gogashvili was arrested in his home last year. He denies charges. Photo: IPN, 04 Apr 2023 - 18:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tbilisi City Court on Tuesday sentenced Soso Gogashvili, the former Deputy Head of the Georgian State Security Service, to five years in prison on charges of exceeding authority and privacy invasion.

The court found Gogashvili guilty on all five charges brought against him last year, which included illegally obtaining and possessing personal information, illegally obtaining, storing and distributing personal data, exceeding official authority, deliberate disclosure of state secrecy and illegal purchase and storage of firearms and ammunition.

Before his arrest in July 2022, Gogashvili claimed in his social media post he possessed “whistleblowing information” against the current Government. 

The Prosecutor's Office said last year its investigation had shown Gogashvili held access to  information containing “state secrets”, as well as personal data of “certain individuals”, between 2015-2018, while in office. 

The body noted Gogashvili had taken the data out of his office for “personal purposes” and kept it at home, through a misuse of his authority. Some of the personal data was later “disseminated with the participation of Gogashvili”, the body added, violating the constitutional rights of individuals and “causing significant damage”.