30 Jan 2020 19:47

Ex-Georgian Security Service deputy chief vows to prove Saakashvili-led party's link to terrorists

TBILISI. Jan 30 (Interfax) - Joseph (Soso) Gogashvili, a former first deputy chief of the Georgian State Security Service, claims to possess information indicating that the former ruling and currently opposition party United National Movement and its leaders are linked to members of the terrorist organization Islamic State (IS or ISIS, banned in Russia).

"Everyone in Georgia will learn what National Movement is like in reality," Gogashvili said in an interview with Channel One, in commenting on his earlier social network post, in which he claimed that "the 'main' opposition party National Movement has stood behind the ISIS terrorists."

Gogashvili said he accidentally obtained information confirming his assertion, and if relevant agencies take some interest in this, he was willing to help the investigation as much as he could and share this information.

He refrained from elaborating on what information he was willing to hand to investigators at the moment.

Gogashvili said the matter concerns a criminal group that had been set up in Georgia and to which terrorist Akhmed Chatayev belonged before he was killed in a special operation in Tbilisi in November 2017.

"I will certainly familiarize the public with this information and will help the investigation as much as I can, if it pursues this line to determine what actually happened and how. I will publish this information. I promise a hard time to the National Movement," Gogashvili said.

He also vowed to share all information he possesses with Georgia's foreign partners.

Gogashvili resigned in August 2018. He had served for the State Security Service since 2015. His name was associated with a lot of high-profile cases in Georgia, including a special operation in Tbilisi in November 2017, in which a group of terrorists led by Chatayev was destroyed, and an operation to detain people suspected of supporting terrorist activities in the Pankisi Gorge.