Audiotapes Against Saakashvili: Does Georgia Benefit?

Ukrainian website “WikiLeaks Center” late October this year published transcripts of an alleged conversation held between Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and former Security Secretary Giga Bokeria at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport on October 22.

The author of the transcript, Kirnik Sergei Mikolaiovich (Кірник Сергій Миколайович), presenting no evidence, claimed Saakashvili was preparing a coup against the Georgian government. Later it appeared complicated to warrant authenticity of the records considering the transcripts as fabrication. Moreover, the so-called Ukrainian WikiLeaks later was found to have no connection to the central WikiLeaks office, but registered in Moscow and affiliated with the Russian government.

October 30, audio-records of two conversations by former president Mikheil Saakashvili were published on the Ukrainian website

The first involved a conversation with Nika Gvaramia, General Director of Rustavi 2, and the second with Giga Bokeria of the United National Movement (UNM), Saakashvili’s key ally in Georgia.

According to the first audio recording, Saakashvili asks Gvaramia about the Rustavi 2 court hearings and offers a scenario of revolution in case the court decision will be executed. The former president suggests Gvaramia erect barricades and metal barriers at the Rustavi 2 office and to find “gunmen” and says that ultimately everything will end in shooting.

In the second audiotape, Saakashvili discusses the same topic with Giga Bokeria, ex- secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia. He expresses his dissatisfaction with the poor reaction of ‘idiot foreigners’.

Both Gvaramia and Bokeria confirmed the authenticity of the published audiotapes.

As Bokeria told Imedi TV, he didn’t view it as being something extraordinary, adding, the tape proves two things: “One thing is that illegal wiretapping continues in the country and the second thing is that Gvaramia’s earlier statement that a messenger sent by the government threatened him that his conversation with Saakashvili would be published, proved to be true.

Nika Gvaramia, on confirming the authenticity of the recording, wrote on his Facebook page that the conversation was illegally recorded and “Big brother” is still watching and listening to people.

“First of all, Mikheil Saakashvili is my close friend. I am always interested in his opinion concerning various issues, but it doesn’t mean we share positions on everything,” he said, stating he does not share Saakashvili’s views about erecting barricades.

“Ten days passed and you can come and witness whether there is a single barricade there [outside the Rustavi 2 studio],” he said.

The following day, the Georgian State Security Service (GSSS) said that, within the framework of the ongoing investigation around the case, [they] “have asked the relevant structure from Ukraine for cooperation.”

According to the Deputy Head of the GSSS, Levan Izoria, confirmation of both the origin and authenticity of the audio tapes is required. Izoria stated all necessary investigative activities will be carried out.


Concerns have been raised in Georgian civil society. Some point out that such accusations and attacks on the main opposition, even if true, do no benefit to economically poor citizens and the devalued Lari.

The ruling coalition of Georgian Dream, including PM Garibashvili, believe that Saakashvili with his attempts harm Georgia while the UNM claims the government is involved in plans to destroy the main opposition prior to the 2016 elections.

The Georgian vendetta seems to be continuing. Who is to blame for the illegal recordings? Does Georgia benefit from them?

Steven Jones

05 November 2015 22:45