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Orthodox Church Spokesperson Talks Alleged Security Service Leak

“The forces involved in disclosing the details of the alleged covert surveillance are trying to use the Church to manipulate elections,” said Archpriest Andria Jagmaidze, Head of the Public Relations Department of the Georgian Orthodox Church about the alleged leaked State Security Service files.

“Illegal surveillance and disclosure of such materials are completely unacceptable if proven,” he said on September 14, adding that commenting about the details will only be possible after the investigation “more or less” sheds light on the issue. “Before that, a lot of things are unclear, and the truth and lies are mixed.”

Noting that the Orthodox Patriarchate has no access to the leaked files, Archpriest Jagmaidze appealed to media outlets to share them with the Church.

The GOC has not yet issued an official statement about the leaked documents.

Over 3,000 documents allegedly gathered through spying by State Security Service agents were disseminated to journalists on September 13. The files were largely focused on the Orthodox clergy, containing compromising information on allegations of pedophilia, past criminal activities, conversations with supposed foreign agents, narcotics use and others.

Besides, the documents included details of conversations of Georgian journalists, opposition politicians as well as civil servants, including discussions related to the Church, and conversations with the clergy. Several journalists, as well as opposition politicians, have confirmed their conversations included in the files.

The leaked documents also included a separate section on LGBT rights organizations, details on civic activists, platforms and civil society representatives.

Prosecutor’s Office is leading an investigation into the unauthorized recording of private conversations and unlawful dissemination of the information, but some, including Deputy Ombudsperson Giorgi Burjanadze, have voiced distrust in the probe.

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


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