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Security Service Alleges UNM-Linked Coup Conspiracy

The State Security Service of Georgia announced on October 29, on the eve of local election runoffs, that it is probing a coup conspiracy supposedly involving members of the United National Movement, the largest opposition party.

According to the announcement, the suspects planned “destructive actions,” including blocking the path to Gldani prison hospital to “cause chaos and uncontrollable situation” and obstruct the possible transfer of hunger-striking jailed former President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Similar actions could take place in the case of Saakashvili’s transfer to other establishments as well, the State Security Service noted.

The agency said the investigation is ongoing under Article 315 (1) of the Criminal Code, involving conspiracy intended to change the constitutional order through violence or to overthrow or seize state power, punishable by a prison term of five to eight years.

The suspects refused interrogation at the agency and will be questioned in Court, the SSG added.

The Security Service said it possesses a two-hour-long covert tape, warranted by the Court, of the suspects’ discussions which supposedly took place at the Mikheil Saakashvili Presidential Library in Tbilisi.

It disclosed a six-minute-long excerpt, purporting to show Besik Tserediani, Giorgi Shervashidze, Aleksandre Milorava, and several unidentified persons discussing the alleged conspiracy.

According to the tape, Tserediani supposedly proposed the plan to block off the prison hospital and hold rallies outside the houses of Prime Minister Garibashvili, as well as Justice and Health Ministers if anti-Saakashvili gatherings continued outside the Rustavi jail.

Also, Tserediani purportedly speculated that the authorities would falsify the results of October 30 runoffs, and that protest and revolution would become necessary. “I am sure we will have to pull off a Maidan in the end.”

The recording showed Tserediani purportedly saying that minor developments during the rallies would be incontrollable, possibly leading to several people being harmed and an “uncontrollable process.”

The man also allegedly voiced dissatisfaction over an unnamed person for not greenlighting to relocate the thousands of people rallying on October 14 from the Freedom Square of Tbilisi to the nearby Government Chancellery to “issue an ultimatum” against the Georgian Dream government until the next day.

Also according to the tape, an unidentified woman purportedly proposed to storm the penitentiary hospital if Saakashvili gets transferred there, going on to ask “has a result [ever] come without blood?!”

Reactions

United National Movement’s Levan Khabeishvili dubbed the allegations of the conspiracy “ramblings,” and “madness.” Khabeishvili accused the SSG of aiding the Georgian Dream’s campaign for local polls, including by announcing the probe on the eve of the second rounds.

Georgian Dream chair Irakli Kobakhidze highlighted that the SSG’s announcement “once again confirms that the [United] National Movement is evil, a revanchist political force which only aims to create disturbance and chaos in the country.”

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