The Georgian State Security Service said in a brief statement on Saturday it has opened investigation under article 315 of the criminal code involving “conspiracy to overthrow” the government.
It said that the probe was launched “based on operative-investigative activities carried out by the counter-intelligence department and information reported in the media outlets.”
“All the necessary operative-investigative activities will be carried out in frames of the ongoing investigation,” Deputy Head of the State Security Service, Levan Izoria, said without taking questions from reporters.
The State Security Service has declined to elaborate on its statement. “Information reported in the media outlets”, noted in the security agency’s statement, appears to be a reference to a text, which was posted on a murky website called “Ukrainian WikiLeaks”, hosted and registered in Russia, and then re-printed or reported by some Georgian media outlets, including Imedi TV, on October 23. The text in question, veracity of which has not been substantiated in any way, is alleged to be a transcript of a conversation between Georgia’s ex-President and governor of Odessa region in Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili, and one of the leaders of UNM opposition party Giga Bokeria in Istanbul airport on October 22. According to this text, carried by the website which is focused mostly on publishing unsubstantiated stories against Saakashvili, the two men were speaking about plotting an attack against Rustavi 2 TV personnel in order to then trigger mass protests against the government.
Bokeria, who along with Saakashvili was in Madrid earlier this week to participate in the European People’s Party congress, said that the text on that website was “a very ridiculous delirium.”
An hour after the State Security Service made its announcement, the Interior Ministry said, citing security reasons, that it would install surveillance cameras in the areas surrounding Rustavi 2 TV headquarters in Tbilisi to keep the territory under round-the-clock monitoring.
“Based on operative-investigative activities, the State Security Service has launched investigation under the first part of article 315 of the criminal code, which implies conspiracy to overthrow the government. Taking into account the existing situation and for the purpose of providing security for the population, the Interior Ministry will be taking special measures, specifically: surveillance cameras will be installed on the territory adjacent to the TV company Rustavi 2 through which the entire perimeter will be under monitoring around the clock; at the same time patrol police crews will be on duty on a permanent basis round-the-clock in this territory in order to provide security for citizens, including for employees of the TV company, and to prevent expected provocations,” the Interior Ministry said.