Soso Gogashvili, imprisoned former deputy head of the State Security Service of Georgia, said on Thursday that the founder of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has threatened him by “destroying his family” if he refused to give a “desired testimony”.
“I have received a threat from Bidzina Ivanishvili that if I did not stop and refused to give a desired testimony, my family and I would be destroyed. I may find out that my family had been poisoned, or had a car accident”, Gogashvili said in his Facebook post.
He appealed to the Public Defender and human rights organisations to “defend his family.”
At a trial hearing on preventive measures in Tbilisi City Court on July 18, Gogashvili said that it was a “historic day” as charges were filed against him, “against Georgian lieutenant colonel,” per the accusations of “Russian spies, who will now try to discredit the court.”
Gogashvili, who was arrested in his home on July 16 with the presence of his family, claimed that he was a “victim of inhuman and degrading treatment” in the process of detention and transportation.
The following trial in the case was scheduled on September 8, after Gogashvili was denied bail by Tbilisi City Court in mid-July.
The former security official, who held the post between 2015 and 2018 under the Georgian Dream authorities, was charged with abuse of authority, illegally obtaining, storing, distributing personal data and illegal purchase and storage of firearms and ammunition.
Footage depicting his arrest was filmed by his wife and released on social media.
The family insisted that the law enforcement planted firearms, documents and various information items, including a laptop and memory cards during the search.
Gogashvili’s lawyer said that the “arrest on political grounds” was related to Gogashvili’s plans to publicize information about the “voter fraud”,” the materials “which are now abroad and will be released anyway in the coming days.”