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Georgian Deputy Interior Minister Arrested After Blackmail Allegations

  • RFE/RL

TBILISI -- Georgia's Deputy Interior Minister Gela Khvedelidze has been arrested for allegedly blackmailing a journalist.

Interior Minister Irakly Garibashvili told journalists on May 12 that his deputy is suspected of placing a video on the Internet that exposed the sex life of well-known journalist Giorgi Paresashvili.

Garibashvili said the video was taken illegally by the previous government's Constitutional Security Department, but he was also very sorry about what he called his deputy's "crime."

However, the chief of Georgia's presidential office, Andro Barnov, told journalists on the same day that the country's previous government had nothing to do with the video.

Barnov demanded “a transparent and fair investigation” by the Interior Ministry.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's government has often clashed politically with outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili and his supporters since last October after Saakashvili's United National Movement party lost parliamentary elections.