Kahaber Sabanadze, the First Deputy Interior Minister, announced his resignation on March 23, citing the need for “thorough and impartial investigation,” following the controversial TV stories about Sabanadze and his alleged subordinate, ex-intelligence officer Ivane Gulashvili.
The decision comes after Mtavari Arkhi TV aired late on March 21 an interview with now-imprisoned ex-intelligence officer Gulashvili, who accused Sabanadze of giving controversial orders during June 20 anti-occupation unrest in 2019.
A day earlier, on March 20, TV Pirveli, another channel critical to the Georgian Dream Government, also aired footage about Gulashvili and Sabanadze. Showing a covertly recorded screengrab – allegedly from covert video footage taken in his office on October 21, 2019, TV Pirveli argued that Sabanadze, close to then newly-elected PM Gakharia, was being spied on by other security officers.
“This shall be a precedent for all high-ranking officials to react with a high standard of responsibility to unbiased questions arising in the public,” said Sabanadze in today’s statement. “For years I have served the state and followed the law, thorough fulfillment of which has been, still is, and will be coming first for me,” he noted.
Prior to his appointment as First Deputy Interior Minister in November 2017, Sabanadze briefly served as the Deputy Head of the Counter Terrorist Center of the State Security Service (SSG) in the same year. Between 2015 and 2017, he was the Deputy Head of the state security department of the SSG. Earlier, he held various high-ranking posts in the Georgian Foreign Intelligence Special Service, in the Interior Ministry, and the Defense Ministry.
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