Asked whether he rules out the practice of illegal surveillance on the Orthodox Patriarchate representatives during the Georgian Dream government’s tenure, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stressed “his Holiness Patriarch [Ilia II] is under the protection of the state.”
In his interview with Rustavi 2 TV, aired late on September 17, the PM wondered “which state or government is out there not ensuring the security of the Patriarch,” adding that “it needs to be investigated and identified, which of these leaks are legitimate.”
“Of course, 2-3% of these files may be true, but this has its explanation, let’s wait for the results of the investigation,” PM Garibashvili asserted.
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The Prime Minister said the alleged SSG files were leaked in an attempt to incite hostility and strife in the society and that it served to show ahead of elections the GD government is doing “something disastrous.”
“What we do is we are protecting the Church, the Patriarch, the Patriarchate, all of those persons carrying utmost importance for the state,” PM Garibashvili went on, adding that “nothing is ruled out. If anyone was wiretapped legally… this is within the frames of law and the state has the Security Service so that they exercise their authority defined by the law.”