TBILISI, DFWatch — A court in Georgia says it did not give permission to eavesdrop on the former Interior Minister and the Director of Rustavi 2 TV.
Police Wednesday detained two former government officials on suspicions of bribery and falsification of documents. The investigation was carried out by the Investigative Service of the Finance Ministry, and included listening in on the phone calls of persons involved in this case.
This is the first time the new government has published secret recordings. The Finance Ministry claims it had obtained permission from Tbilisi City Court to carry out the eavesdropping.
The Investigative Service on Wednesday published four audio files containing secretly recorded phone calls. The first one appears to show a conversation between Nika Gvaramia, director of Rustavi 2 and Giorgi Nemsitsveridze, founder of L&F Service Ltd. The next recording is a conversation between former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili and Kakha Damenia, another person involved in the case. There was also published a conversation between former Energy Minister Alexandre Khetaguri and Director of the energy Telasi. The last recording was a conversation between Nika Gvaramia and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili.
But the permission published on the website only applied to Giorgi Nemsitsveridze and Kakha Damenia. It is valid until January 2013.
Nonetheless, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri on Thursday claimed that the eavesdropping on Gvaramia and Merabishvili also was legal, although there has not been published a corresponding warrant.
Speaker of Tbilisi City Court Eka Areshidze the same day stated that Vano Merabishvili and Nika Gvaramia were not mentioned in the warrant issued by the court.