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Deputy Head of Security Service Quits Post

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 23
Deputy Head of Georgia’s State Security Service Ioseb Gogashvili quit the post on Tuesday. The opposition believes that the resignation is connected with the anti-terrorist raid last year, which killed the 19-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili, in Georgia’s Muslim populated Pankisi Gorge.

The agency has not reported on the reasons behind the step. It also remains unknown whether Gogashvili, who led the Pankisi raid in December 2017, resigned or was fired.

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that the opposition is trying to speculate with the issue.

“The State Security Service will announce Gogashvili,” Bakhtadze said the same day.

Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the father of Temirlan Machalikashvili, is trying to prove his son was mistakenly shot during the raid and says that Gogashvili’s quitting the post “means nothing.”

“He must be punished together with the head of the State Security Service Vakhtang Gomelauri,” Machalikashvili said.

Gogashvili took the post at the State Security Service in August 2015. Previously he headed the general inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

His name was frequently mentioned on opposition TV channels with journalist Eliso Kiladze accusing him of corruption and making illegal deals.

Gogashvili played one of the key roles during the November and December counter-terrorism raids in Tbilisi and Pankisi when about a dozen individuals were detained with terrorism charges.

Four other individuals who were detained during the Pankisi raid have been sent to prison for the support of terrorism.

The agency says that Machalikashvili also supported terrorism and he tied to use a hand grenade when the special unit servicemen rushed into the house.

The State Security Service claims that the Islamic State terrorism Akhmed Chatayev, who blew himself up in Tbilisi during the November raid, and his supporters planned attacks on Georgian and Turkish diplomats.