Georgian Prosecutor Arrests Two Connected to Sex Tape Scandal

TBILISI – Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor announced Tuesday that two individuals have been detained in connection to the spread of illegal footage onto the Internet.

According to the prosecutor’s office, former Constitutional Security Department official Zurab Jamalashvili and lawyer Irakli Pkhaladze, were arrested on charges of spreading illegal footage of Georgian politicians engaged in various sexual acts.

The two men, however, have not been charged with having uploaded any illicit material onto an existing server.

‘The prosecutor’s office will provide the public with more detailed information about the two detained as soon as it becomes available. The investigation remains on going,’ the prosecutor general’s office said in a prepared statement.

According to publicly released police records, Jamalashvili’s son Vasil - who was also an employee of the Constitutional Security Department - was arrested in 2012 for cyber crimes and abuse of power, but was later was released on a GEL 3,000 bail.

Surveillance videos, depicting the intimate sex lives of prominent public figures and a new round of threats aimed at sitting politicians and working journalists has caused a nation-wide hysteria in Georgia.

A compromising video depicting an opposition politician having extramarital sex with an unidentified partner was released on 11 March via YouTube and later privately emailed to several Georgian journalists.

A second video depicting the private sexual habits of several public figures were released via the Internet on Monday.

The sender threatened to release more videos if those in the video refuse to publicly resign from their respective duties by 31 March.

Several major non-governmental organizations operating in Georgia have waded into the issue by re-establishing a campaign originally aimed at combating illegal secret and wiretapping.

Known as “This Affects You Too” the initiative first went public in 2012, but disbanded two years later.

In the wake of the sex tape scandal, the leaders of the organization have decided to restart their campaign to end the spreading of illegally obtained videos.

By Tamar Svanidze

Edited by Nicholas Waller

15 March 2016 14:57