A group of civil society organizations has joined calls for creating a special Parliamentary Investigative commission to study the allegations of illicit contacts between the State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in 2016-2017.
The investigation is based on claims made by the former deputy head of the SSG, Ioseb (Soso) Gogashvili, and corroborated by the former head of his security, Aleksandre Samkharadze.
Per Gogashvili’s version, the officials discussed and made arrangements related to the illicit trafficking of goods from Russia through Georgia, the granting of Georgian citizenship to Russians as indicated by the FSB, and the illegal detention and deportation of Russian citizens wanted by the FSB in Georgia.
Citing high-profile cases over the years which have raised questions about “ineffective and, in some cases, selective prosecutorial responses,” the organizations accentuated the need for a Parliamentary commission “which will properly investigate the circumstances described in the story.”
The organizations stressed that if confirmed, the alleged crimes threaten “Georgia’s national interests, its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and contradict the country’s Constitution.”
The statement was signed by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Transparency International – Georgia (TI – Georgia), the Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF), and Rights Georgia.