Deputy Chief of the Counter Terrorism Center of State Security Service (SSG), Bacha Mgeladze told reporters today “there could be a real danger” of an ordered killing of Nika Gvaramia, Director of government-critical Mtavari Arkhi TV.
He said the Security Service summoned Gvaramia today and gave him tips on tightening security measures. Besides Gvaramia, another journalist’s life could also be in danger, according to the Security Service representative.
After meeting with the SSG representatives, Gvaramia confirmed that he received information about a month ago that people were planning to arrive from Moscow and murder him with a sniper rifle.
He said he informed the SSG on the supposed murder plot after consulting with foreign diplomats. Gvaramia noted that the Security Service provided him with a security detail, but investigators had ruled out the possibility of the planned murder.
But now, according to Gvaramia, the SSG said it has identified a group of foreign citizens behind the supposed plot. Slamming Mgeladze for disclosing the details, Gvaramia accused the Security Service of trying to scare the public and the media ahead of the October 2 local elections.
Gvaramia speculated that the SSG could have been behind the tip-off on the alleged plot in the first place. “I expect the foreign citizens will turn out to be that of Ukraine, and [ex-President Mikheil] Saakashvili the orderer,” remarked the Mtavari Arkhi TV Director, casting doubts on the State Security Service investigation.