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Eavesdropping scandal continues

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, May 15
The Rustavi 2 scandal remains a hot topic in Georgia.

Accusing political opponents in wrong doing has become the norm in Georgian politics in recent times. The Rose Revolution in particular, actively directed accusations against dissidents from the oppositional parties to discredit them or even sentence them to jail. A regime of fear was effectively established in the country at that time.

Society was threatened by bugging devices everywhere – bedrooms, kitchens, offices and buses. This was Mikheil Saakashvili’s way of governing the state. These practices however, back-fired on the Saakashvili administration just before the parliamentary elections on October 1, 2012 when the shocking prison videos were revealed publicly.

Although the new administration loudly declared that the practice of eavesdropping and secret surveillance was over, in reality it looks like nothing much has changed. From time to time social networks disseminate scandalous materials discrediting various politicians.

Before the upcoming local elections, Rustavi 2 TV, which is widely considered to be pro-UNM, stated that the materials were detected in the premises of the company including the offices of directors taken by somebody inside the TV station.

However, questions remain regarding when this material was shot; was it recent material? Or was it installed or/and captured during the UNM’s time in office. Officials from the Georgian Dream coalition deny this allegations that the recordings were recent, and argue that these shots were taken on the orders of the UNM.

The government denies its role in such practice. The opposition however, places responsibility on the Georgian Dream coalition.

Whoever is the initiator or the executor of this wrong-doing, it is an issue that needs to be investigated. The major concern for the population is the fact that such things still take place in the country. It should be immediately stopped if Georgia wants to comply with the requirements of the European Union Association Membership.