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Georgia’s Security Service Investigates ‘Coup Attempt’

The State Security Service of Georgia announced on November 6 that it launched on October 1 an investigation into a ‘state coup attempt,’ allegedly organized by “certain persons planning to violently overthrow the government in case of obtaining unsatisfying results in [October 31] parliamentary elections.”

The investigation has been launched under Article 315 (1) of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving conspiracy intended to change the constitutional order through violence or to overthrow or seize state power. The charges envisage imprisonment for a term of five to eight years.

The State Security Service noted that said “certain persons” from the opposition intending to overthrow the government had been establishing conspirator “mobile groups comprised of former law enforcement and military servants.”

The SSG announcement came after MP Irakli Kobakhidze, the campaign chief of the ruling Georgian Dream party, stated on October 30, a day before the election, that a number of opposition leaders had been plotting “revolutionary scenario” to come to power. MP Kobakhidze accused the United National Movement-led government’s long-serving Interior Minister Ivane Merabishvili, former Education Minister Dimitri Shashkin, and retired general Devi Chankotadze, among others, of being behind the plot.

The State Security Service then interrogated MP Kobakhidze on November 5, during which the GD campaign chief provided the investigative body a list of alleged conspirators the opposition intended to dispatch to overthrow the government.

In a parallel turn of events, pro-governmental Imedi TV reported on November 6 that a Ukrainian web-platform released an audio-tape, allegedly featuring Temur Alasania, uncle of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, and Gubaz Sanikidze of the UNM’s parliamentary party list, discussing the need to establish an alternative government amid opposition’s protest against the “rigged” election. The authenticity of the tape has not been confirmed.

This is at least the fourth investigation into state coup attempt since the Georgian Dream party came to power in 2012, and more political allegations were made, with no convictions to show.

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