DRI: The State Security Service should provide information on the progress of investigation into the Partskhaladze case
On September 14, 2023, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions[1] on Otar Partskhaladze, the former Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, and restricted his financial and economic operations. The Department of  State, in its statement, named Partskhaladze’s activity in the management consulting sector of the Russian Federation economy as a reason, and referred to him as a Georgian-Russian oligarch. The statement also reads that Onishchenko, an officer of Russia's Federal Security Service, allegedly assisted Partskhaladze in obtaining a Russian passport and Russian citizenship, and that the Federal Security Service leveraged Partskhaladze to influence Georgian society and politics for the benefit of Russia.[2]

On September 19, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia stated[3] that based on the publicly disseminated information on sanctions imposed on Otar Partskhaladze, an investigation had been launched in the State Security Service. The Prosecutor's Office cited high public interest and disinformation campaign as the basis for making the relevant statement. Despite the fact that the state agencies talk about the high public interest related to the sanctioning of Partskhaladze, the only statement made by the Security Council so far concerns the launch of an investigation into the mentioned case.[4]

In order to ensure state security, one of the activities of the State Security Service is to protect the country against illegal actions of individuals. In addition, due to the high public interest, the Service is obliged to provide information to the public about the progress of the investigation (without disclosing information classified in accordance with the law).

Unfortunately, it is still not known under which article(s) of the Criminal Code the investigation is being conducted regarding Otar Partskhaladze. Despite the high public interest, the Service did not disclose the fact that Otar Partskhaladze had been summoned for questioning; It is also not known what other investigative actions are being carried out by the State Security Service.

Over the years, investigations have been formally launched into a number of criminal cases related to Otar Partskhaladze.[5] However, in all the cases where judgements were delivered, the former Chief Prosecutor was acquitted.[6]

It can be assumed on the basis of the analysis of publicly disseminated information that the State Security Service should be conducting an investigation against Otar Partskhaladze under one or more articles of Chapter 37 of the the Criminal Code, for a crime that is directed against the constitutional structure and security foundations of Georgia.

The action allegedly committed by the former Chief Prosecutor - supporting the influence on Georgian society and politics for the benefit of Russia - represents a crime against Georgia's democracy and sovereignty, which requires an adequate response. However, the untouchable position of Otar Partskhaladze over the years calls into question the independence of the investigative bodies and the judicial system. The coordinated actions taken in response to the sanctions imposed on Otar Partskhaladze to protect him at the expense of Georgia's sovereignty and national interests reinforce these doubts.

In response to the legitimate public concerns that high-ranking officials may be covering up the former Chief Prosecutor, the Democracy Research Institute calls on the State Security Service to regularly provide the public with as comprehensive information as possible, beyond formal statements, on the progress of the investigation.

In addition, due to the high public interest, as well as the unsuccessful investigations into other cases against Otar Partskhaladze and the low public trust in the law enforcement agencies, the Democracy Research Institute calls on the Parliament of Georgia to use all the available control mechanisms in relation to the Head of the State Security Service (inter alia, to summon the Head of the State Security Service through the interpellation procedure; to summon him to a plenary session; to summon him to a committee session; to summon him to a Trust Group session; to use the mechanism of submitting questions in writing).

[1] (website), Imposing Further Sanctions in Response to Russia's Illegal War Against Ukraine, 2023, September 14, available at: -illegal-war-against-ukraine/
[2] Ibid.
[3] (website), Statement of the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia, September 19, 2023, available at:
[4] (website), SSSG does not Elaborate on whether Otar Partskhaladze was Summoned for Questioning, 2023, September 18, available at:
[5] The case of the kidnapping of Levan Kipiani and the physical attack on him, the fact of submitting a fake diploma during the appointment as the Chief Prosecutor, the case of the assault on the Auditor General, the episode of removing Vano Merabishvili from the cell.
[6] (website), Court Acquits Otar Partskhaladze of Beating Lasha Tordia, February 2, 2021, available at: