An investigation by TV Formula claims to have found that employees of Georgia’s State Security Service (SSG) organised and supervised an attack on the station’s co-founder and prominent government critic, Misha Mshvildadze.
According to an investigation published on Wednesday, one of the people seen in CCTV footage of the area near the attack obtained by the channel is Giorgi Mumladze, an investigator of the Security Service, born in 1998.
Formula additionally claimed that Giorgi Mumladze’s godfather is Levan Akhobadze, who has served as the deputy head of the SSG since 2022, and that, according to its sources, the attack on Mshvildadze was overseen by Akhobadze.
Mshvildadze was attacked and beaten on 27 June while entering a Carrefour supermarket in Tbilisi.
[Read on OC Media: Two government critics reportedly attacked in Georgia]
Speaking to the media shortly after the incident, Mshvildadze stated that the attacker mentioned his ‘swearing at the Patriarch’.
Formula’s report also claimed that Giorgi Mumladze’s father is Zurab Mumladze, an employee of a regional division of Georgia’s Defence Ministry from 2017–2018, and added that Zurab Mumladze had probably been transferred to the SSG in 2020 or 2021.
On 5 July, a briefing was held on Formula by the channel’s general director Zuka Gumbaridze, journalist Vakho Sanaia, Misha Mshvildadze, and host Davit Kashiashvili.
During the briefing, Kashiashvili stated that Mumladze had begun working at the Tbilisi investigative branch of the SSG ‘a few months ago’, prior to which he worked in the Interior Ministry.
‘Giorgi Mumladze, who participated in the attack on Misha Mshvildadze, is one of the main figures, because when Misha Mshvildadze left Delisi, he followed him and attended the attack process until the end. At the very end, he and his partner left Vazha-Pshavela Avenue,’ said Kashiashvili.
According to the channel, the attack on Mshvildadze was organised by employees of the SSG, with their source confirming that all three vehicles that participated in the attack ‘belong to this department’.
‘The fact is that the attack on Misha was organised and, unfortunately, participated in by the SSG, which should protect the safety of Georgia, not beat journalists and then cover it up as if some worried young man in love with the patriarch beat Misha’, said Kashiashvili.
According to RFE/RL, the SSG did not confirm or deny whether Giorgi Mumladze was an employee of the agency, only stating that ‘representatives of Formula should provide the investigation with any information they have and the investigation will determine everything’.
On Thursday, local media reported that the attack on Misha Mshvildadze would be investigated by Georgia’s Special Investigation Service.
Mshvildadze’s case is being investigated as an attack, but the Formula representatives at the briefing requested that the case be reclassified and investigated as a ‘group attack planned and organised by the SSG’.
The day after the attack, a Facebook user under the name of Nikoloz Gugeshashvili wrote a post in which he stated that he had attacked Mshvildadze, tagging Georgia’s Interior Ministry in the post and stating that he would not hide from law enforcement services.
On the same day, one person was arrested on charges of assaulting Misha Mshvildadze.