TBILISI, DFWatch–The speaker of the Georgian parliament views with suspicion material published on a website in Ukraine indicating a coup plan against the government in Georgia.
Speaker Davit Usupashvili claimed that if a criminal probe is conducted solely based on information provided by the Ukrainian blog wikileaks.center, it will be problematic for law enforcement agencies.
Two days ago, the Ukrainian language blog wikileaks.center published a transcript allegedly of a conversation between ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and his ally Giga Bokeria supposedly planning a coup. Despite the dubious authenticity of the transcript, which is not backed up by an audio recording, Georgia’s State Security Service launched an investigation for an alleged state coup attempt and the next day summoned Giga Bokeria, a prominent figure in the National Movement, for questioning.
Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili said Monday that if investigators have other grounds, it would be made clear soon. “Now it is vital that the investigation be transparent and not to violate anyone’s rights,” he said.
Members of the former ruling party, the National Movement, expressed their views about the investigation at a bureau session of the legislative assembly. The party’s MP Gigi Tsereteli asked the speaker to familiarize himself with the case and find out what authorities are investigating.
“I’d refrain from inquiring what is being investigated and why,” Davit Usupashvili responded. ”I don’t think it is my, or your, prerogative to make inquiries into a specific criminal investigation.”
Chair of parliament’s defense and security committee Irakli Sesiashvili told journalists that he disagrees with the speaker, as investigative bodies have certain duties and obligations.
“In order to avoid risks when the case concerns very dangerous issues, law enforcement bodies must act,” Sesiashvili said. “On the other hand, we have to thank them for reacting.”
At a briefing on October 24, the deputy head of the State Security Service said that an investigation has been launched based on information published in the media, but also “operative search activities” carried out by the intelligence department. He didn’t offer more details.
The website wikileaks.center has about 30 posts with pro-Russian content and a number of the posts are about Saakashvili, who currently is Governor of Odessa in Ukraine. The website was registered in Russia four months ago via https://www.reg.ru/. Two days ago, Rustavi 2 TV quoted a representative of the Russian company reg.ru, confirming that they operate wikileaks.center.