TBILISI, DFWatch–A date has been set for destroying the Soviet-style ‘dirty archive’ accumulated by the secret police during the Saakashvili regime: September 5 at 15:00.
Some of the archive consists of videos from hidden cameras pointing into the bedroom of influential people like journalists, stored by the intelligence services of Mr Saakashvili in order to exert pressure on them, if necessary, like the KGB did during the Soviet Union.
The commission created to oversee the destruction process Monday decided to purge part of the archive. The actual destruction will be conducted at the Interior Ministry’s so-called Moduli building on Vazha-Pshavela Avenue in the western Saburtalo district of Tbilisi, and media will be able to attend.
Lasha Tughushi, a member of the commission, said on Monday that the length of the footage up for destruction is about 181 hours and 30 minutes. This includes clips of secretly recorded intimate scenes. The rest of the archive with clips that are necessary for ongoing investigations will remain intact for the time being.
The commission’s session on Monday was attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations, the Public Defender, the minister of justice and minister of interior.
After the Georgian Dream coalition surprisingly won the parliamentary election in October 2012, the new government discovered thousands of files, video and audio clips of people’s personal life, phone conversations and other surveillance material made by the Saakashvili regime. The archive was the result of months of surveillance of the political opponents, journalists and others.
The new government promised to never use illegal methods of surveillance and vowed to destroy the ‘dirty archive’, but the destruction process was postponed many times.