Statement of the State Security Service of Georgia

The State Security Service of Georgia, in the scope of conducted activities aimed at preventing terrorist threats against public, has revealed Malkhaz Machalikashvili’s intent to murder several persons through organizing terrorist act.

We would like to inform the public, that the mentioned gravest crime has been prevented as a result of direct efforts of the State Security Service of Georgia.

As you are aware, one of the major functions of the Service, besides detecting, suppressing and investigating crimes envisaged by the investigative jurisdiction of the Service, is conducting preventive activities in order to prevent these crimes.

Currently, the nephew of Malkhaz Machalikashvili, Moris Machalikashvili is being interrogated at the Counterterrorism Department of the State Security Service of Georgia, who, in accordance to the plan of Malkhaz Machalikashvili had to be involved in the implementation of the mentioned terrorist act.

Investigative activities are being conducted into the criminal case, which was launched on June 1, 2018 at the Counterterrorism Department of the State Security Service and are still ongoing on the facts of preparation of terrorist act and of unlawful purchase and storage of firearms and/or explosive device for the terrorist purpose, the crimes envisaged by Articles 18-323 and 323 prima of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

We would like to remind the public, that investigation into the case has been launched on the basis of Malkhaz Machalikashvili’s public statement containing a threat, which was made at the protest event in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi, on May 31, 2018. According to the statement, he and his accompanying persons, who according to Malkhaz Machalikashvili, had made a vow that they were ready to penetrate the building of the State Security Service of Georgia and blow themselves up.

In the scope of the investigation, in order to check and obtain evidence, on the basis of relevant court rulings, covert investigative activities have been carried out, including covert surveillance and  recording of telephonic conversations, covert video/audio recording and taking photos.

In accordance to the evidence obtained as a result of covert investigative activities conducted in the vicinity of the Parliament building, it has been revealed, that Malkhaz Machalikashvili has had an intent to carry out a terrorist act.

According to the criminal intent, the terrorist act was being planned in the village Zemo Machkhaani of Dedophlistskaro region, at the grave of late father of Ioseb Gogashvili, former first deputy head of the State Security Service, while Ioseb Gogashvili and his accompanying persons being there, that would have claimed their and other citizens’ lives.

As soon as the State Security Service has found out about the criminal intent of Malkhaz Machalikashvili, in order to prevent this crime and in parallel with close operational surveillance of possible individuals involved in the case, other preventive measures have been carried out as well, inter alia the security measures have been strengthened in relation to Ioseb Gogashvili and members of his family.

At the current stage of investigation, on the basis of obtained evidence, it is confirmed, that on March 23, 2019, Malkhaz Machalikashvili himself instructed Moris Machalikashvili to abandon any other activities and work only on one person – Ioseb Gogashvili. Moris Machalikashvili had to identify the residential addresses of Ioseb Gogashvili, his travel routes, also Moris Machalikashvili was tasked to travel to the cemetery of village Zemo Machkhaani, in order to establish the location of the grave of late father of Ioseb Gogashvili and take pictures, whilst, on the basis of obtained information, Malkhaz Machalikashvili would have planned other activities.

Today, Malkhaz Machalikashvili has been summoned for the interrogation at the State Security Service for this very reason, and notwithstanding the fact, that we have taken into consideration the request of his lawyers to postpone the interrogation on May 7, instead of May 4, Malkhaz Machalikashvili has denied to appear at the investigative body again. Correspondingly, measures envisaged by the procedural legislation for similar cases will be carried out in relation to him.

The investigation into the case is ongoing. The State Security Service will provide information to the public in future on the developments of the case.