A coalition of NGOs issued a statement and expressed concerns regarding the illegal phone tapping that according to the statement has become a systemic feature of the election campaign in Georgia.
The comments from the NGO coalition ‘It Affects You’ come after yesterday’s leak of taped conversations allegedly between former President Saakashvili and United National Movement (UNM) members discussing potential revolutionary scenarios after the election.
Members of the UNM have denied the authenticity of the recording and have stated that the conversations never took place. The authenticity of the recording is not yet proven.
“The content of the audiotape is also quite alarming...and it’s important that the investigation by the State Security Service is conducted transparently and takes place as per Georgian law to avoid accusation that the investigation has political motivation. It is also important that the government quickly and efficiently investigates who was able to obtain the illegal recording. We’re calling upon the government to take steps against unlawful hidden surveillance and phone tapping and to investigate the case. We also encourage the Secret Service to exercise their duties and responsibilities carefully and lawfully to ensure the security of the country. This would guarantee that the elections are conducted in a peaceful environment”. - states the campaign.
On September 27, The State Security Service of Georgia opened an investigation into a suspected coup plot after leaked phone calls were published online. The leaks include conversations allegedly between former President Mikheil Saakashvili and other UNM members discussing possible revolutionary scenarios after the elections.
United National Movement members, Akaki Minashvili and Nugzar Tsiklauri [majoritarian candidate for Tetritskaro district in 2016 Parliamentary Elections] were called in for questioning. Members of the United National Movement denied the authenticity of the recordings and stated that the conversations never took a place.
The taped conversation was uploaded to the youtube channel - “Creative Georgia News”, the same channel which earlier this month leaked phone calls between Nika Gvaramia, the General Director of Rustavi 2 and Paata Burchuladze, leader of the coalition “State for People”.