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Who installed the surveillance device at Rustavi 2?

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 12
The Prosecutor’s Office states that someone was eavesdropping on Rustavi 2 TV during the previous government, and the current head of the channel has information related to a surveillance device discovered in the company’s building.

Several days ago, Rustavi 2 gave a special press conference, and aired videos that reflected the situation in the offices of the channel head Nika Gvaramia and his deputy. Gvaramia stressed that the new government is eavesdropping on the Rustavi 2. He also emphasized that an informer from the Interior Ministry delivered the video to the company, adding that there were up to 100 types of such videos at the MIA.

On 6 May 2014, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched an investigation and released a report on May 9.

According to the prosecutor’s office, on May 8, 2014, Teimuraz Kovziashvili, the Head of the Security Service at Rustavi 2, addressed the Chief Prosecutor’s Office. Kovziashvili claims he was dismissed from his position the next day. He testified on behalf of the investigation and provided the tapes of 21 December 2012 recorded by the CCTVs installed at the TV station.

“These recordings clearly depict the presence of the Special State Protection Service officers subordinated to former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on 21 December 2012. They were conducting technical work using special devices,” the Chief Prosecutor’s statement reads.

According to Kovziashvili’s testimony, “Gvaramia advised him not to worry about the issue.”

Responding the report, Gvaramia said it is an attempt to fabricate a case against him. He also promised to release more material, showing that the ruling party is eavesdropping on its officials as well.

Gvaramia said Kovziashvili is a “spy” and accused him in following instructions of the authorities to install surveillance cameras in the Rustavi 2 office. Gvaramia said Vladimer Bunturidze who was chief of Rustavi 2 TV’s security until December 2012 and now chairs the security of the penitentiary system, was monitoring the complete illegal process.

Coalition representative Irakli Sesiashvili states that Gvaramia has “staged a show” which shall be exposed soon. Members of the coalition believe that Rustavi 2 is still under the United National Movement influence and Gvaramia is trying to discredit the ruling team prior to the elections.

Minority member Zurab Tchiaberashvili is sure that the majority of citizens are aware that the coalition is behind the illegal eavesdropping at Rustavi 2.

“The more the coalition tries to hide the links, the more they reveal themselves,” Tchiaberashvili said.

Head of Elections and Political Technologies Research Centre, Kakha Kakhishvili, admits that the Prosecutor’s Office should answer all the questions related to the case. However, he states that Rustavi 2 has all the sources to carry out an inner investigation and establish the truth independently.

The prosecutor’s office summoned Gvaramia. He was interrogated as a witness in the case.