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Privacy rights still a problem

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, May 7
A video depicting a sexual relationship between three men became available on social networks on April 3. This particular video also revealed the identity of the individuals in the video. One of the individuals is a member of the coalition Georgian Dream youth wing, Giorgi Paresishvili, who frequently criticized the advisor of the prime minister, Gia Khukhashvili, and other state officials.

Paresishvili claimed that that the video was fabricated and underscored that Khukhashvili, Deputy Interior Minister, Gela Khvedelidze, and Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Lasha Natsvlishvili , managed to take control over businesses, which previously were controlled by the previous government.

Paresishvili stressed that the three individuals on the video is fabricated footage and merely an attempt to discredit him after he started accusing the aforementioned officials of corrupt deals. He also said he was “sure” that Interior Minister Gharibashvili had no connection with the fact and appealed to him to encourage an investigation concerning the crime.

“In the case that Gharibashvili does not launch a swift investigation into the case, he might become the victim of this fact and lose his position. Gharibashvili is the chair of the ministry and his responsibility is the highest with regard of such issues,” Paresishvili stated.

Khukhashvili condemned the release of the video as a “horrible crime” and said that allegations against him were part of a smear campaign against. He also said that Paresishvili, who was blaming him of being behind the release of the video, was himself a victim of the same provocation which was targeting him and other officials.

“Before the release of the videos, I thought that Paresishvili was acting alone against me. However, currently I think that he was used by some others and those individuals carried out the action against Paresishvili,” Khukhashvili said.

PM’s advisor suggested that Paresishvili collaborate on the investigation with him.

“It is a problem for both of us. It will be more profitable if we collaborate and help the investigation to detect those individuals who published the footage,” Khukhashvili said.

Based on the statement of the interior ministry, Gharibashvili took the case under his personal control.

“The Minister of Internal Affairs strongly condemns the disclosure of an official’s private life and takes Giorgi Paresishvili’s case under his personal control,” the MIA statement reads.

Prime Minister Ivanishvili commented that it is more likely the footage to be spread by the members of the former government. According to him, accusing Khukhashvili, Natsvlishvili and Khvedelidze in wrongdoing is far from reality.

In connection with the issue, the head of the non-governmental organization Identoba, Nino Bolkvadze, addressed the Vake-Saburtalo Police with a relevant statement.

On May 4, Identoba held a demonstration against the fact and addressed the interior ministry to destroy the videos.

Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, called on the interior ministry to carry out an effective investigation over the case and identify those behind the video leak.

It is publicly known, that former government members carried out illegal eavesdropping and surveillance on citizens, collecting compromising information against people and using this to blackmail them. Gharibashvili stated that the video materials were stored at the ministry. NGOs have already asked the ministry to destroy the documents. According to Gharibashvili, the materials will be burned as soon as the investigation on some cases is concluded and not at the present moment.