The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched an investigation on August 1 into the documents given to civil society organizations by Ioseb (Soso) Gogashvili which detailed an alleged scheme of voter bribery and illegal mobilization by the ruling Georgian Dream party in past elections.
The Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to Civil.ge, that the investigation is being carried out under Articles 332, abuse of official powers, 333, exceeding official powers, and 164(1), vote buying, of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
- Prosecutor Charges Former Deputy Head of State Security Service
- Former Deputy Head of State Security Service Arrested
The CSOs Transparency International – Georgia and the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) published a study on July 21 on the basis of documents provided by Gogashvili which per the CSOs revealed a large-scale scheme of mobilizing votes in favor of the ruling party through illegal means that “very likely confirms the use of state agencies (including law enforcement agencies) for electoral/party purposes.”
“Through these agencies, personal information about employees of budgetary organizations was likely collected, probably with the goal of pressuring them in the future. Additionally, in exchange for support during elections, citizens were provided with pre-requested benefits and other advantages through various state agencies,” the study stated.
TI – Georgia, and ISFED, stated then that they had handed over the material to the Prosecutor’s Office and that it should become a prerequisite for starting an effective investigation. 11 CSOs called on the authorities to administer a high standard of justice in the case against Gogashvili on July 29.