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Deputy interior minister arrested

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, May 14
First Deputy Interior Minister, Gela Khvedelidze, was arrested on May 11. The detention is related to the case involving the leak of a secretly recorded sex video of journalist and Georgian Dream youth wing member, Giorgi Paresishvili.

According to the special statement made by the Interior Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, Khvedelidze was in charge of securing the large cache of video files obtained through illegal surveillance by the previous authorities.

“Khvedelidze committed an illegal action and leaked the sex video for the purpose of revenge against the man who had recently been leveling allegations against Khvedelidze (meaning Paresishvili),” Gharibashvili said. The minister also stressed that that "there is no guarantee that the previous authorities have no copies of these recordings."

Gharibashvili determined that the arrest of Khvedelidze should be a sign for all officials and not only for them, that the current government of Georgia will not be tolerant towards criminal actions. "I do not want to be an interior minister who covers up my own family members, friends and relatives. This time is over in Georgia and I am sure that the time will never be back again,” Gharibashvili said.

However, the minister reiterated that Paresishvili’s accusations towards Khvedelidze and some other state officials were groundless.

Paresishvili who has accused Khvedelidze, Deputy Prosecutor Gela Natsvlishvili and the prime minister’s advisor, Gia Khukhashvili, in illegal actions, underscored that he would demand compensation for the emotional damage.

Paresishvili stressed that Natsvlishvili should also be detained, as he is involved in the egg business together with Khukhashvili and Khvedelidze. Paresishvili stated that Natsvlishvili has disrupted the investigation of the Lapankuri special operation as well, as he is somehow linked with the issue.

Khukhashvili stated that the accusations voiced by Paresishvili are false. However, Khukhashvili states that no one has a right to get involved in the private life of an individual.

Khukhashvili emphasized that his patience has expired and plans to raise the issue of responsibility of every person involved in the campaign targeted against him.

“I demand a complete investigation into the case. Law-enforcements should investigate not only my possible connection with the leaking of the sex video, but the circumstances of all the allegations that have been voiced against me,” Khukhashvili stated.

Parliament Chair Davit Usupashvili is surprised how Khvedelidze could make such a serious mistake. Usupashvili stated that the investigation should be equal towards each citizen and emphasized that it should not be forgotten during the investigation that the videos were created by the previous government.

Chief-editor of the newspaper Kronika plus Eliso Kiladze made public the audio material that according to her, reflects conversation of Khvedelidze concerning Paresishvili’s video. Kiladze called “unprecedented” the action of the Interior ministry and addressed chief prosecutor, Archil Kbilashvili, to dismiss Natsvlishvili from his position.

Head of the Elections and Political Research Center, Kakha Kakhishvili, stated that public interest over the issue was so high that Gharibashvili had no other way but to detain his deputy who was involved in the issue. Kakhishvili stated that it is also important of which article Khvedelidze will be charged.

Kakhishvili also stated that he doubts that Khvedelidze was the only one who published the video.