A No-Show! Georgian Parliament Calls off Session for State Security Report

A parliament session scheduled for Wednesday with the aim of having lawmakers hear a report from the Head of the State Security Service Vakhtang Gomelauri was called off due to lack of attendees.

Member of Parliament (MP) from the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, Irma Nadirashvili, accused the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling coalition of purposely boycotting the session to prevent the expected grilling of the Security Chief by MPs.

Gomelauri, who served as Head of the Security Service of Georgia’s billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili before becoming Deputy Interior Minister in spring 2013, and later Minister of Internal Affairs, said that it is not his fault that quorum was not reached.

“I came here to deliver my report and answer all the questions. The failing is on the side of the MPs who chose not to come to the hearing,” Gomelauri said.

Gomelauri proceeded to comment on the latest hot topic in the area of security, the so-called ‘sex tapes.’

Regarding the private videos that were expected to be disseminated on March 31, he said, “We hope that no more videos will be published, though we cannot say with 100% certainty they won’t be. Investigation is in progress through the Prosecutor’s Office and we are also providing assistance.”

He announced that a special group has been established to assist the investigation which includes the Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Security Service of Georgia, and special agencies from the United States and Great Britain.

Georgian society was recently shocked by the two surveillance videos uploaded onto Youtube depicting the intimate sex lives of prominent public figures and working journalists.

The sender threatened to release more videos if those in the video refused to publicly resign from their respective duties by 31st March.

At a meeting of three parliamentary committees on Monday, Deputy Head of the State Security Service, Levan Izoria, hinted that, although he did not rule out any theory, Russia could be behind the leaked surveillance videos recently used to threaten government members.

Izoria said that videos were uploaded from Ukraine, Sweden and Lithuania and pointed out that the tapes, which were recorded during Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency, were taken and kept out the country following the UNM loss at the October 2012 election.

Tamar Svanidze

31 March 2016 21:00