The State Security Service, Georgia’s domestic counterintelligence agency, reported on January 19 that Aleksandre Khojevanishvili, who served as the Head of the Interior Ministry’s General Inspection since 2017, replaced Grigol Liluashvili as the Deputy Head of the State Security Service. Liluashvili was promoted to the position of the First Deputy Head of the State Security Service.
Liluashvili, served as the Deputy Head of the State Security Service since 2017, so his promotion comes as no surprise. Notably, however, the post of the First Deputy was vacated by Ioseb Gogashvili, whose resignation was earlier reported by several media outlets. The Security Service’s press release said nothing about that resignation.
Gogashvili’s name was associated with a double operation in Tbilisi and Pankisi gorge of Akhmeta district in November and December 2017, respectively, when several persons were apprehended on charges of assisting the group of terror suspects, who allegedly plotted attacks on diplomatic missions in Georgia and Turkey. Temirlan Machalikashvili, one of the suspects, was shot in the head during the operation and succumbed to his injuries two weeks later.
In the course of last year, Machalikashvili’s father, Malkhaz, emerged as a prominent figure alongside Zaza Saralidze, father of the murdered teen in Khorava street murder, protesting against police violence and demanding higher scrutiny over police and prosecution. In December 2018, defense lawyers of Machalikashvili family called for the Parliamentary probe into the matter.