State Security Service “studying” US’ sanctioning of former Prosecutor General

The Georgian State Security Service on Friday said it was “studying” the sanctioning of Otar Partskhaladze due to “high public interest”. Photo: GSSS, 15 Sep 2023 - 14:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian State Security Service on Friday said it was “studying” the sanctioning of Otar Partskhaladze, the former Prosecutor General of Georgia under the Georgian Dream Government, by the United States Department of State this week.

The body’s comment, which also noted “high public interest” in the case, came after the State Department on Thursday announced it had sanctioned Partskhaladze - who held the position between November-December 2013 -  for “influencing Georgian society and politics for the benefit of Russia”. 

The US state body said Aleksandr Onishchenko, an officer of Russia’s security agency FSB who has also been sanctioned along with the Georgian former official, had “likely assisted his associate Partskhaladze in obtaining a Russian passport and possibly Russian citizenship”, and added the former Georgian Prosecutor General had “fully taken on a Russian identity and routinely travels to Russia”.

Partskhaladze appeared on the latest list of sanctions along with more than 150 other individuals, on the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which means all his assets and interests registered in the US will be blocked. 

Any kind of transfer to sanctioned individuals or to those who own 50 percent share in companies related to them will also be blocked.

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Friday responded to the development by saying Partskhaladze had held “no connection” with state structures “for the last 10 years”.

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller earlier during the day said “no sanction” imposed by his country on an individual could change his country’s “strategic ties” with Georgia.