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Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into covert audio recordings involving PM

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, March 10
The Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has launched an investigation into the case of the leaked covert recording which includes a conversation between Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, the son of the Georgian Dream founder Bidzina Ivanishvili, Bera Ivanishvili, and Anzor Chubinidze, who currently serves as the Head of the Special State Protection Service.

The agency said in a statement that based on secret recordings made public by a local TV station, an investigation had been launched into allegations of unauthorized recording, illegal use, and dissemination of private conversation.

“As part of the investigation, all necessary investigative and procedural actions will be carried out to determine the legality of obtaining and disseminating the recordings. Appropriate examinations will be scheduled to determine the authenticity of the leaked recordings," reads the statement of the Prosecutor's Office.

On March 6, TV Pirveli aired audio conversations in which Bera Ivanishvili seems to be tasking Chubinidze to humiliate and punish youngsters for their online posts insulting the Ivanishvili family. The authenticity of the recording has not been established, but TV journalists state they have seized 4 audio recordings which reveal that Bera Ivanishvili is allegedly instructing top officials to harass his critics, including a minor.

For their part, the current prime minister and head of state defense, according to the record, are talking about carrying out these tasks.

The ruling Georgian Dream party released a statement the next day, stating that the recordings are fabricated.

Anzor Chubinidze, the head of the State Security Service, said in an interview with Imedi that the secret audio recording released by TV Pirveli was modeled.

As Chubinidze recalls, in 2010-2011, before Bidzina Ivanishvili announced his intention to enter politics, there were frequent threats against his family members, more specifically against Bera Ivanishvili. At the time, Chubinidze was in charge of Bidzina Ivanishvili's family protection service, and it was his direct responsibility to get involved in the case and check how real the threat was. According to him, he then identified users that were the authors of provocative statements against Bera Ivanishvili. Chubinidze recalled that he got in touch with their parents, who understood the basis of concern and even took on the role of mediators.