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Ex-Cop Speaks of Pressure for Detaining Intelligence Chief Izoria’s Brother in 2014

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Giorgi Dvalishvili, former police officer, who spoke of systematic pressure for detaining then Deputy Minister Levan Izoria’s brother in 2014 with pro-opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV on January 23, held news briefing outside the Georgian State Security Service building on January 26, noting that secret surveillance is being carried out against him and his family.

Since September 2019, Levan Izoria serves as the new Chief of Intelligence Service. At the same time, Izoria is the Secretary of the National Security Council (NSC). Prior to this position, between the period of August 2016 – September 2019, Izoria served as Defense Minister. Earlier, from October 2012 to July 2016 he served as Deputy Interior Minister.

Speaking at the briefing outside the State Security Service building, Giorgi Dvalishvili, accompanied by Khatia Dekanoidze of the United National Movement, said that he is ready to cooperate with investigation and respond to all their questions. “I cannot protect my children and they suffer from a huge pressure. Thus, I call on law enforcement agencies to stop this illegality,” he noted.

The State Security Service has “strongly” denied all allegations, saying to Civil.ge that “various accusations voiced by certain political forces and their activists against the State Security Service are not based on the facts and evidence” and “aim at discrediting the agency.”

The news emerged after Mtavari Arkhi TV aired a story about Giorgi Dvalishvili with the latter providing a body-cam footage featuring the arrest of Levan Izoria’s (then Deputy Interior Minister) brother, Vakhtang Izoria.

According to the video footage, patrol police stopped the car driven by allegedly not sober Vakhtang Izoria, prompting the latter to get into a verbal confrontation with police officers, insulting and threatening them. Later Giorgi Dvalishvili arrested him for petty hooliganism, handcuffed him and put him into a police car.

The video footage shows that arrested Izoria continued to insult police officers, warning them that he is Levan Izoria’s brother. Soon, another police officer and Levan Izoria’s driver came to the scene and released Vakhtang Izoria; police officers were compelled to apologize to him for the incident.

Mtavari TV then released another video footage, according to which a so called “Narushilovka” (a special permit waiving law enforcement officials from responsibility when breaking certain regulations (like speed limits or parking) when in duty.) was issued to Vakhtang Izoria.

Dvalishvili told Mtavari Arkhi that both PM Giorgi Gakharia and Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri have been informed about the existence of such video. None of them have commented on the issue so far.

Dvalishvili said that pressure had been exerted on him over the past years, noting that he was first demoted and then dismissed. He stressed that pressure intensified after Kakha Bukhradze was appointed as Head of Patrol Police with the latter demanding him to hand over the video footage to him.

Last November, Dvalishvili applied to the Prosecutor’s Office to launch investigation against Bukhradze. The Prosecutor’s Office said they are probing into the authenticity of the video footage and will provide the details later.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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