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Targamadze demands that the Intelligence Department tells what it knows

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 27
The leader of Christian Democratic Movement, Giorgi Targamadze, held a briefing on October 26 at which he demanded that the Confidence Group should convene in Parliament to obtain information from the Intelligence Department.

The Parliamentary minority leader suggested that some disturbing news is being spread by Russian media sources about terrorists operating on Georgian territory, reports which might be preparing the ground for raising further tensions in the Pankisi Gorge. “The Russian Government is using the same methods it did several years ago, when it managed to trigger a crisis in Pankisi. Russian media and law enforcement agencies are spreading the information that there are dangerous terrorists in Georgia. We consider that this is a hint that another escalation of the situation in the region is possible from spring. In such circumstances, the Georgian foreign intelligence service’s proper and active work has a vital importance for the country’s security. I consider that the Confidence Group should gather in Parliament and the head of the Intelligence Department, Gela Bezhuashvili, should provide it with exact information about foreign threats and dangers,” stated Targamadze.

The Confidence Group consists of 5 members, two appointed from the minority and three from the majority side, none of whom are Members of Parliament. This group has the right to obtain confidential information from the Government. The leader of the Christian Democrats will need to obtain at least 3 group members’ support to invite Bezhuashvili to Parliament and extract the necessary information from him.

Party members are also intending to ask Bezhuashvili about his department’s budget. As is known the Intelligence Service currently receives 6 million GEL in Government funds a year, but from next year this sum will reduce by 200,000 GEL.

After the briefing most of those present from either side of the political divide said they agreed with the Christian Democrat initiative. Parliament minority representative Gia Tortladze said that not only should the Confidence Group meet in Parliament but the Security Council must discuss this issue as well, as it is extremely important for the country. “The Christian Democrats’ initiative is really very important. The Confidence Group should necessarily gather in Parliament and obtain the necessary information about the current threats to our country’s security. Russia is trying to escalate the situation and each structure; each department, should be very careful not to be provoked by the Russian side.”

Akaki Minashvili from the majority side agreed with the initiative but added that no serious steps from the Russian side are likely to be taken in the near future, “It is very much appreciated that the opposition shows such interest in this issue and is actively participating in resolving important matters. I am also concerned that Russia is trying to strain the situation in Georgia, but I do not suppose it will dare to conduct any kind of dangerous and serious provocation in the near future,” stated Minashvili.

A different viewpoint was expressed by another opposition MP, Georgian Troupe leader Jondi Baghaturia, yesterday. He believes that his colleague Targamadze has made a mistake by demanding that the Confidence Group meet to discuss this issue as such matters should be discussed at a Security Council sitting. He appealed to Targamadze to invite Bezhuashvili to a Security Council meeting. Baghaturia added that information about the Pankisi Region is interesting for each Georgian citizen and this is another reason this question should be discussed before a wider public through the Security Council structure. “The Pankisi Gorge issue is very important and interesting not only for politicians but ordinary citizens. Georgian society should have full information about possible dangers to the country. This matter should not be discussed only by Tortladze and Targamadze,” stated Baghaturia.