US Side Provided no Evidence on Partskhaladze, Says Head of SSSG

Grigol Liluashvili, the head of the State Security Service of Georgia (SSSG), said that the US State Department (DOS) has not provided the Georgian authorities with evidence regarding Otar Parstskhaladze, former Prosecutor General of Georgia, who was sanctioned by the US Treasury in September.

Answering to the journalists’ questions following his hearing in the Parliament on October 19, Liluashvili said that former Prosecutor General “was questioned, and not interrogated” and that Partskhaladze left Georgia the following day after the questioning. SSSG head declined to reveal for which country Partshkhaladze left, citing privacy issues and not excluding that it could be Russia.

“We have not received any evidence, although the request for legal assistance was sent through the Prosecutor’s Office; it has also been been sent through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs channels to the US State Department, but we have not received any details. On the contrary, everyone is asking us for details,” – said Liluashvili.

SSSG head dismissed the reports by media claiming that the US special services don’t apparently trust their Georgian colleagues and that’s why they don’s share this information. “I would like to tell you that in the framework of very strong and fruitful partnership between the special services of our countries much more sensitive security information… is being exchanged on a daily basis and our partnership is exemplary. I am sure that had our partners been aware ahead of time of Partskhaladze’s possible criminal activities, they probably would have provided us with this information,” – Liluashvili said.

He also said that to date, not only the US, but also none of the EU member state agencies that Georgia has approached have provided any information on Parshaladze’s Russian connections.

The SSSG chief added that the article under which the case is being opened requires a high standard of evidence. “If the evidence is not presented, the investigation will not end with results,”- Liluashvili said.

Asked about the investigation of possible accomplices of Parstkhaladze, Liluashvili said that the questioning of people with whom Partskhaladz had personal or business links was continuing,

On September 14, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)  imposed sanctions on Otar Partskhaladze, considered by the media and watchdogs as one of the close associates of the oligarch, and ruling party patron, Bidzina Ivanishvili. The State Department stated that Partskhaladze was designated for his efforts to influence Georgian society and politics in cahoots with the FSB officer.

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