Reports: Georgian Security Spied on EU, U.S. Ambassadors

Georgian media outlets are reporting that the alleged files of the State Security Service include details on conversations of EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell, U.S. diplomats, Israeli Ambassador Ran Gidor, as well as employees of other diplomatic missions in Georgia.

Formula TV reported today that the documents included a brief on EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell’s plans to attend a meeting of diplomats with clergy on October 9, 2020, as well as the diplomat’s discussion with another EU Delegation employee on the Georgian Orthodox Church’s stance on holding religious rituals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Formula TV, the leaks include details on a conversation between U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s assistant and a Georgian Foreign Ministry representative discussing the same October 9 meeting with the clergy.

“Control the Americans’ contacts at and visits to the Patriarchate,” said a supposed correspondence between the State Security Service employees, according to Formula TV. 

Mtavari Arkhi TV reported today that the files allegedly included details of internal communications at the U.S. Embassy as well, including a discussion between Public Affairs Officer Catherine Schweitzer and Political Affairs Officer Juan Aparicio on filming a U.S. Independence Day congratulations video. The report said that Schweitzer had suggested including a clergyman in the video.

According to Formula TV, the leaks allegedly include details of Israeli Ambassador Ran Gidor’s conversation with Archpriest Giorgi Zviadadze, with the diplomat discussing his plans to publish an open letter about a 2020 antisemitic sermon by Kutaisi Metropolitan Ioane Gamrekeli.

Media reports said there were details of conversations held by Estonian and German Embassy representatives as well. 

New details details from over 3,000 documents allegedly gathered through spying by State Security Service agents are still emerging. The files were largely focused on the Orthodox clergy, but also included conversations of Georgian journalists, opposition politicians, foreign diplomats as well as civil servants.

Several journalists, as well as opposition politicians, have confirmed their conversations included in the files.

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.

More on the story: 

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


Back to top button