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Georgia Whistle-Blower Says Abused Prisoners Were Saakashvili 'Enemies'

Vladimer Bedukadze, the whistle-blower connected to the prison torture videos
Vladimer Bedukadze, the former official at Georgia's Prison No. 8 who released videos purportedly showing guards abusing inmates, said the prisoners who were tortured were "ideological enemies" of mafia bosses and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Bedukadze applied for political asylum in Belgium following the release of the tapes on September 18.

In comments to Obyektiv television, Bedukadze said more videos exist and are in the possession of Interior Minister Bacho Akhlaya.

Georgian prosecutors said on September 20 that they are investigating whether someone "ordered" the prison abuse in order to discredit the authorities ahead of the country's October 1 parliamentary elections.

The release of the videos sparked protests across Georgia and the resignation of the minister of corrections, probation, and legal assistance, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze.

On September 20, Saakashvili named human rights commissioner Giorgi Tugushi to replace Kalmakhelidze.

Based on reporting by Objektiv and Interfax