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PM comments on torture videos

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 20
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, says that a video depicting the sexual abuse of a man in prison during the rule of the previous Government was sold to a Ukrainian citizen by a member of the former ruling party, the United National Movement (UNM).

The PM’s comment came after the release of a video on a Ukrainian website showing the torture of a citizen - allegedly in the western Samegrelo region - to force a confession from him.

“I am sure that the representatives of the former government were watching and discussing these videos. It is hard to believe that such sick people were in power,” Gharibashvili said when commenting on the release of the video showing the torture of prisoners.

The PM claimed that from the hundreds of videos reflecting the private lives of famous individuals as well as the footage of torture, the state leadership only destroyed the videos containing scenes of a highly intimate nature.

Irakli Garibashvili was the Interior Minister in 2013 when much of the video footage was destroyed using a special device.

The PM stressed that the videos showing torture were necessary for investigation.

“All perpetrators were punished. They were sentenced to 9 or 12 years in prison. None of them have been released. As far as I know, one or two are still wanted,” said the PM.

He said that he could understand the issue was very unpleasant and that the investigation would find out how the footage was released.

“As far as I know, the video was released in Ukraine. There are several versions of how this came to happen, one of which says that the footage was sold to the Ukrainian citizen by representatives of the former government,” said the PM.

The UNM says that the current Government released the video for the purpose of recovering its low rating in the country.

A Ukrainian website – - has released a video presumably showing the torture of prisoners in Georgia’s western Samegrelo region in order to force a confession from him.

The video with the title "How reformers torture people for getting testimonies" shows the sexual abuse of a man, who then agrees to give the testimony.

The video ends with photos of Georgia’s former high ranking officials: brothers Akhalaia, ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, Givi Targamadze, Zurab Adeishvili and Vano Merabishvili, with the inscription "Results of law enforcement reforms".

Up to 110 CDs containing a total of 144 files with over 181 hours of secret video recordings of the private lives of citizens, obtained over the past several years through illegal surveillance, were destroyed on September 5, 2013 under the current Georgian Government.