Grigol Liluashvili, the head of the Georgian State Security Service, on Thursday said Tbilisi had not received “any evidence” from the United States which could prove the guilt of Otar Partskhaladze, the former Prosecutor General of Georgia who was sanctioned by the State Department in September for his alleged cooperation with the Russian intelligence.
In his press comments after presenting the agency’s 2022 report to the Parliament, Liluashvili said Partskhaladze had left the country shortly after his summoning to the body for an interview last month, and added he could not say whether the former official left for Russia as it was “personal information”.
Liluashvili said Partskhaladze admitted during the interview he had obtained Russian citizenship, which caused the termination of his Georgian citizenship by the President this week.
The official claimed the US would have provided evidence of the former Prosecutor's dealings with the Russian intelligence to the Georgian side "earlier" if they possessed such information, and added the partner state was requesting details around the case from Tbilisi, which he claimed was “very thought-provoking”.
Pointing to “very close and fruitful cooperation” between the US and Georgian law enforcement agencies, Liluashvili claimed “far more sensitive classified information was being exchanged” between the states “on a daily basis”.
He added the allegations against Partskhaladze were unlikely to be confirmed in the court without “serious evidence”.
The SSS launched its investigation into Partskhaladze’s case on September 15 under the article which involves providing assistance to foreign organisations or subordinate organisations in hostile activities, with the crime punishable by seven to 15 years in prison.
The US State Department on September 14 said it had sanctioned Partskhaladze - who held the official post between November-December 2013 under the Georgian Dream Governmnet - 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”.