Democracy Research Institute continues to monitor the Georgian State Security Service. An analysis of the court judgments in the cases investigated by the Security Service reveals that the Service performs police functions as well. Consequently, state resources are used improperly.
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In 2015, when the State Security Service was being set up, the non-governmental sector criticized the concentration of excess power in the agency and duplication of functions. The Ministry of Internal Affairs considered the criticism unfounded, as according to them, the function of the State Security Service was prevention in the field of state security, while the task of the police was the protection of public safety and order. Accordingly, the activities of the State Security Service were not related to the "prevention of specific threats emerged in the daily life of citizens, but to the global, external interests and efforts against the existence and security of the State."
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Based on the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and the best practices of European countries, the work direction of intelligence services covers only crimes that threaten the security of the State, such as:
- Creation of a danger to the functioning of the State and its constitutional bodies;
- Call for/incitement to terrorism
- Activities carried out by extremist/separatist organizations that threaten the unity/security of the State.
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Contrary to the international standards, the analysis of judgments in the cases investigated by the State Security Service shows that the majority of cases investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service do not contain risks to the state security.
To illustrate that the current work of the State Security Service needs to be fundamentally audited, the Democracy Research Institute compared cases investigated by the Estonian and Georgian Security Services:
On November 3, 2020, the Tartu City Court convicted fromer Deputy Mayor of Tartu, who was arrested by the Estonian Internal Security Service for particularly large-scale procedural violations.
During 2020 and 2021 (including February), the State Security Service launched investigations into 75 criminal cases, including:
- 9 cases of fraud (Article 180 of the Criminal Code)
- Misappropriation or embezzlement (Article 182 of the Criminal Code) - 2 criminal cases
- Property damage by deception (Article 185 of the Criminal Code) - 1 criminal case
- Manufacturing, sale or use of forged credit cards or charge cards (Article 210 of the Criminal Code) - 1 Criminal case.
Georgia has not yet implemented the recommendation of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Anti-Corruption Network to detach the Anti-Corruption Agency from the State Security Service.
The cases investigated by the Estonian and Georgian Security Services can you see here
Statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of July 14, 2015, available at: https://police.ge/ge/shinagan-saqmeta-saministros-gantskhadeba/8481 accessed on: 18.05.2021
OECD-ACN Anti-corruption reforms in Georgia, 4 th round of monitoring of the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan, 2016.