skip to content

Five Charged over Secret Recordings of Private Lives in Case Predating Recently Released Sex Tapes

Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday that five persons have been charged with unlawful use and possession of a video of private lives.

It said that the charges were filed as part of an investigation predating March 11 and March 14 unlawful distribution of sex tapes, purportedly showing politicians.

Four out of five persons, charged as part of the probe opened few months ago, are in detention and one was charged without being arrested as she is “cooperating with the investigation,” prosecutor Koka Katsitadze told journalists.

In mid-January Eliso Kiladze, an editor-in-chief of the Tbilisi-based “Kronika+” newspaper, said she was approached by an individual offering her secretly recorded video of private life of a lawmaker from the ruling GD coalition. The man, who was secretly filmed by the newspaper editor when he visited her to offer the tape, was identified as Gela Gurtskaia. The newspaper editor said she notified Prosecutor’s Office about receiving such offer and the man was arrested on February 3, slightly over a month after the offer was made in late December; his arrest was not reported at the time.

Prosecutor’s Office said that investigators found at Gurtskaia’s home a memory card, containing video tapes of private lives of individuals.

The Prosecutor’s Office said that one of those video recordings was given in December, 2015 to Gurtskaia by Nikoloz Khachapuridze, who was an employee of the Constitutional Security Department, which was the security service under the interior ministry before the GD came into government. Prosecutor’s Office said that Khachapuridze offered money to Gurtskaia in exchange for taking and selling the tape to the editor-in-chief of Kronika+ newspaper.

According to Prosecutor’s Office, Khachapuridze obtained those video recordings from his “friend” Inga Chatoyan, and the latter received the videos in summer, 2015 from a practicing lawyer Irakli Pkhaladze for the purpose of selling them.

These and other videos, which were secretly recorded in a period before June 2012, were stored in Pkhaladze’s computer, Prosecutor’s Office said.
Pkhaladze, according to Prosecutor’s Office, obtained those recordings in 2014 from an individual identified by the Prosecutor’s Office as Zurab Jamalashvili. Prosecutor’s Office did not specify how Zurab Jamalashvili allegedly obtained those recordings. Jamalashvili’s defense lawyer said his client denies allegations.

Zurab Jamalashvili, Irakli Pkhaladze have been arrested over the past few days; Gela Gurtskaia was arrested in early February, and Nikoloz Khachapuridze was arrested also earlier in connection to a separate, unrelated case, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, which also said that the fifth person was charged without being arrested as “she is cooperating with the investigation.”

Asked if sex tapes distributed on March 11 and March 14 are part of the files over which the charges have been brought against the five persons, prosecutor Koka Katsitadze responded: “I cannot confirm that.”

Speaking about investigation into videos, posted online on March 11 and March 14, Prosecutor Katsitadze said that the Georgian side has requested “competent authorities” in the United States for the assistance to obtain information from YouTube that will help to identify location from where the recordings were uploaded on the video sharing site.

He also said without elaborating details that as part of the investigation, six homes in Tbilisi have been searched by the law enforcement agencies and examination of CCTV footage from five locations were underway.


Back to top button