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Georgia to keep archive obtained by illegal political surveillance

by | Jan 31, 2014
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Lasha Tughushi, one of the members of the commission, says the interior ministry has kept about 28 000 files, or 789 hours, of a surveillance archive, mostly of a political content. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Interior Ministry still stocks about 28 000 computer files with recordings that were part of a system of political surveillance obtained through illegal means.

Only a few of the files will be destroyed – those which contain material of an intimate nature.

A special commission was created earlier to decide what to do with this material and by recommendation of this commission, 110 DVDs containing more than 180 hours of illegal footage was destroyed in September.

Lasha Tughushi, one of the commission members, said on Thursday that material which is important for the country’s security may be archived.

He said that 28 687 files, amounting to about 789 hours, and 24 tapes are currently being kept at the Interior Ministry and the majority of the recordings have a political content. They are about politicians, party leaders, civic activists, opposition members, clerics and journalists.

Part of the archive will be given to the Prosecutor’s Office for investigation.

Tughushi said he has questions to the Prosecutor’s Office about how soon these cases will be investigated, as many investigations last for a long time and never finish.

“I understand it is difficult to investigate 28 000 files if it is investigated like other cases, which do not end for years, we may not find out the truth about what was happening until the 22nd century, while this is a very important issue,” he said.

Eka Gigauri, who is also a member of the commission, says it is important to determine whether it was a systemic crime, to reveal who who ordered the creation of such an archive and who fulfilled these orders.

She thinks it is important to start investigating and study all these files, which will require time, but also to amend the legislation to prevent such actions and crimes in the future.



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