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Summer relapse into spy scare2009-07-01 14:21
There is another wave of agitation in Tbilisi after the recent scandal about the record of a secret meeting between the leaders of the opposition and the former Head of Foreign Affairs Kakha Targamadze. However, compared to the criminal and political infighting aroused by Targamadze's revelations and the accusations thrown at him, the current incident can hardly be called a scandal: it rather resembles the consequences of the recent spy scare. Listening devices were found in the offices of the oppositional parties.
The first to inform of a listening device found in the office was leader of the oppositional Way of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili. On Monday she showed the journalists electrical wiring with listening devices installed in it. By the way, they were found in the office where the oppositionists were going to have a meeting. It is not yet clear who had the idea of looking for bugs, and why.
It seems rather strange why the oppositionists suddenly decided to worry on the matter. During the whole period of confrontation, which is soon going to celebrate its three-month anniversary, a huge number of damaging audio and video records has been disclosed. The oppositionists had practically no doubts that they would find a bug. "Our checkup was fruitful. They (the bugs) were found in the main office room, perhaps, there are more. These two devices were found in your presence. Let us see how many of them we are going to find", - Salome Zurabishvili stated without any emotions.
The former head of MFA referred to the authorities' audio interception of the political opponents' talks as to "one of the forms of reprisals against the political parties". However, this was the beginning of a scandalous story. In several hours, the bugs were found in the Conservative party's office, and the next day - in the office of Alliance for Georgia.
Then, there appeared the people's defender of Georgia Sozar Subari who does not conceal his positive attitude to the oppositional forces. He made a special statement, where the ombudsman classified the discovery of listening devices in the oppositional parties' office as the evidence of establishing oppressive regime in the country, GHN reports. Alongside with that, according to Subari, all the listening devices were enumerated, so MFA "can instantly find out when they were installed, and by whom". "An ordinary man cannot buy a device like this", - the ombudsman explained.
The Conservative party leader Zviad Dzidziguri casts the blame for the installation of listening devices in the oppositional parties' offices upon the Georgian authorities. According to GHN, he believes that after an incident like that, "at least, Head of MIA Vano Merabishvili should give up his post". Since the first day of the large-scale protest actions, the Georgian opposition has been demanding the resignation of the "grey eminence", the almost almighty minister of internal affairs.
Various accusations have been thrown at him; for example, he was accused of having triggered the police regime in Georgia, of oppressions against the media and the dissidents, of breaking up a meeting in 2007, as well as of forming special brigades that are beating the oppositionists. However, the positions of the almighty official seem to be immovable. These days, he has been on a visit to Washington, and there is scanty information about the meetings of Vano Merabishvili, his deputy Eka Zguladze and other members of the government delegation. It is only known that they were received "in very serious offices".