The messenger logo

New wave of spy hunting

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, July 12
The recent detention of photographers working within the official structures on allegations of spying against Georgia’s interests caused serious concern among the Georgian population. First of all, there was grave concern that these people were working in top level positions. One of them was the personal photographer of the president. On the other hand skeptics consider that these people were just victims of a horrible misunderstanding. One way or another, an investigation is underway and more details will soon become available.

It is not difficult to guess that the alleged country involved in the spy case is Russia as people have for some time been aware of Russian spies cases under different circumstances. The ruling administration on one hand shows the population, as well as the international community, that subversive actions are allegedly being carried out by Russian special services in Georgia. On the other hand this fact demonstrates how efficiently Georgian police and special services carry out their obligations. The general idea is that such events should mobilize the people of Georgia around the ruling power which protects the national interests of the country and uncovers all the provocations and collaborations for which Russia is supposedly responsible.

Georgian officials mainly support this view; however there are other opinions as well of course among the opposition and independent analysts. Some think that the tendency of permanently identifying and revealing spies could not strengthen the country’s image but on the contrary, it could discredit the country. If there are so many spies in the country, so many attempts at changing the leadership, so many political figures collaborating with Russia, maybe there is a problem inside the ruling power itself. Maybe it is taking the wrong steps and if spying was allegedly taking place within the inner sanctum of the authorities maybe there is indeed something wrong inside the ruling majority itself. It is common practice around the world that when in a certain ministry there are many inefficient officials working, the Prime Minister changes the minister to carry out systemic alteration of the work of this particular entity. If one believes the official version, among the people collaborating with Russia there is a former chair of the parliament, a former PM, former Minister of Defence and a former head of Border Protection. Compared with these figures, the photographers even in the official positions are not that significant and there are many questions concerning their guilt. There is a need to provide convincing and solid documents and not just the confessions of the suspects because there are many doubts about how these confessions are made.

Some independent analysts compare this situation to the Bolshevik era when it was common practice to arrest and later shoot foreign countries’ agents. The major element of proof to defend their actions was the confession of a suspect. It was later discovered that they were using torture to force a confession. So, there are questions. But the most important one is what the real reason behind this latest spy case is. The analysts suggest several factors. Some analysts think that in doing so the officials want to cover the discontent throughout the population concerning the recent adoption of new amendments in the civil code in regards of different religions in Georgia. The second explanation is that by detaining people of different professions allegedly involved in espionage creates a feeling of fear in the population. It means that anyone could potentially be a spy. Until solid evidence is provided one way or the other, worrying questions will continue to cloud the issue.