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Bera Ivanishvili comment on the recently aired covert recordings

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, March 11
Singer Bera Ivanishvili, son of the former Prime Minister and GD party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, made his first comment on the secret recordings aired on TV Pirveli in an extensive interview with TV Imedi. The conversations on the tape were held between Bera Ivanishvili, the current Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, and Anzor Chubinidze, currently serving as the Head of the Special State Protection Service.

Ivanishvili did not deny the authenticity of the covert recordings and said the conversation took place in the summer of 2011 when he was a 15-16-year-old teenager. As he said, even today, he would demand an answer from a person who insults him, his family, or his mother. “Show me a single Georgian man having a different opinion on this matter,” he said.

The singer stated that the cyber-bullying, including insulting and hateful comments spread online, was disturbing to him and added that hateful and threatening comments were also made towards his fans. According to Ivanishvili, the most disturbing part for him was attacks and threats against his fans, children aged 10-11, by massive groups of 100-200 people. Ivanishvili said that the parents of several children contacted his family and they were obliged to hand the case over to the security service. “They visited these people in compliance with all laws, ethics, and morals,” says Ivanishvili. He stressed that even in the records it its clearly heard that the meeting with minors was attended by his parents and older neighbors. According to him, the minor was only given a verbal warning and advice.

Ivanishvili denied the allegations that the tapes were recorded in 2017, stating that it would mean the Georgian Dream government recorded the private conversations of its own Prime Minister, SSPS head, the son of the party’s founder, and then provided the recordings to “opposition channels.” He claims that the recordings were made and illegally obtained during the United National Movement government’s rule before his father entered politics. Ivanishvili accused the UNM of the “total surveillance” of not only “underage Bera” but of the whole country. As he said, bots, social media bullying tools, illegal eavesdropping of their conversations were a part of a deliberate campaign of the former government against Ivanishvili’s family.

In the recordings released by TV Pirveli on March 6, Bera Ivanishvili seems to be tasking Chubinidze to humiliate and punish people (including a minor) for making offensive comments online towards him. Yesterday, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia launched an investigation into the unauthorized recording and/or interception of private conversation, as well as the recording of private communication, illegal use, and dissemination of information obtained through technical means.