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Illegal Surveillance Recordings Destroyed In Georgia

  • RFE/RL's Georgian Service

Georgian Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili (file photo)

Georgian Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili (file photo)

TBILISI -- More than 100 legally dubious audio and video recordings secretly made of Georgian citizens have been destroyed in Tbilisi.

Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced late on September 5 that 144 files with 180 hours of recordings containing scenes of intimate character had been shredded.

It was previously announced that 26,000 files would be destroyed. Garibashvili said the remaining files are being investigated.

The files included recordings of private conversations by celebrities, politicians, and journalists made by the Interior Ministry, mainly under the rule of President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The recordings were discovered in arms caches in Georgia's west in June.

Saakashvili said then that he had ordered the hiding of the secret arms stores after the brief war with Russia in August 2008. He denied any involvement in the recordings.

A recent review by the Georgian parliament showed that courts had been grossly compliant in granting surveillance requests.
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