Georgian media: authorities may be spying on diplomats in Georgia
Georgian special services surveil ambassadors
The Georgian State Security Service is surveilling the conversations of both the staff of foreign embassies and the ambassadors themselves – this is the conclusion made by Georgian journalists after studying alleged reports of secret surveillance, which the media obtained a few days ago.
According to some of the files, state security services are surveilling the EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell and the ambassador of Israel Ran Gidor, as well as the employees of the US embassy.
One such file is a transcript of conversations between US Embassy employees not only with representatives of the Patriarchy and clergy but also with each other, as well as their personal e-mail and social media correspondence.
Apparently, these conversations were included in the collection of state security files because they concerned the church.
The files mainly include telephone communication between Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze and the staff of the US Embassy. There are also conversations of one of the employees of the Patriarchy with representatives of the embassy, as well as a transcript of recordings of conversations between employees of the American embassy.
The materials also recorded the conversations of two high-ranking embassy officials who planned to shoot a video congratulation for the Independence Day of Georgia – they discussed whether they could record someone from the Patriarchate in this video.
The files also contain conversations between EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell and his staff. According to the materials, in March last year, Hartzell and his staff discussed the position of the Patriarchy during the pandemic regarding rituals and ceremonies.
The assistant to the EU ambassador, who was featured in the recordings, told Formula TV that he was “saddened” by the news and “would keep the ambassador informed”.
The files also transcribed conversations between Israeli Ambassador Ran Gidor and representatives of the Patriarchate, in particular, with Protopresbyter Georgy Zviadadze. The recording is associated with the anti-Semitic statements of Metropolitan John Gamrekeli and other clergies. The files also contain conversations of ordinary embassy employees.
Among the materials, there is a conversation between an employee of the US Embassy with one of the leaders of the opposition United National Movement party, Khatia Dekanoidze, stating that Ambassador Kelly Degnan would like to meet her.
The files also contain decrypted correspondence between Giorgi Zviadadze and the assistant to the Estonian ambassador in October 2020.
- ‘State insecurity services’ – Georgian clerics comment on the alleged surveillance on the Church
- Georgian media outlets: intelligence services spy on church leaders and even nuns
- Capital of the Patriarchate: Property of the most influential institution in Georgia
On September 13, the media in Georgia announced that they received secret files, from which it became known that the state security service was listening and watching the members of the Synod, the patriarch, his assistants, bishops, priests, nuns, as well as active supporters of all of the above.
As it turned out, special services control the movement of clergymen, their bank transfers and personal life. Thousands of files also contain information about the people through whom clergy could have been recruited. The documents contain information about priests who use drugs or are friends with criminals.
The files also say that in the course of operational work, 36 priests of non-traditional sexual orientation, 23 priests (including monks) who had sexual relations with women, and 21 clerics who used drugs were identified.
The authenticity of the materials has not yet been confirmed.