Several Georgian journalists have confirmed that the files alleged State Security Service files, leaked anonymously yesterday, contain briefs on their conversations with the clergy.
Eka Kvesitadze, a talk-show host of Mtavari Arkhi TV, said in a Facebook post on September 13 that the files included details of her two-year-old phone conversations with Bishop Iakob (Iakobashvili) of Bodbe, who, she added, used to call her “drunk” and tell her stories from inside the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate.
“Security Service knows everything we are writing in the Facebook inbox,” she said in another post, citing briefs that allegedly described her discussions with journalist Ninia Kakabadze about now-dismissed Metropolitan Petre (Tsaava) of Chkondidi diocese, as well as birthday congratulations she received from Bishop Melkisedek (Khachidze) of Margveti and Ubisi.
Nodar Meladze, Head of TV Pirveli’s News Service, confirmed the documents included reports on his conversations with, among others, Bishop Iakob of Bodbe, Metropolitan Nikoloz (Pachuashvili) of Akhalkalaki, Kumurdo and Kars Diocese.
“There were cases when they [allegedly SSG agents] would find out in the morning what the journalist was working on,” said Meladze, claiming that then briefs were prepared about upcoming media reports.
Levan Sutidze, an editor of Tabula online media outlet, also confirmed that his name appears “several times in some of the files,” including in a brief on his conversation with an acquaintance in the Orthodox Church. Noting the reports also voiced suspicions that a certain clergyman provided information to him through social media, Sutidze said he had indeed talked with the person, including via the phone.
Formula TV reporter Nino Vardzelashvili confirmed that the files contained an “exact transcript” of her televised phone conversation with Archpriest Giorgi Zviadadze, in February 2021.
More on the story:
- Prosecutor’s Office Probes Alleged Security Service Leak
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- Alleged Security Service Files on Clergy Leaked