Military prosecutors in Georgia have reported that they are investigating a network formed to blackmail celebrities by filming them having gay relationships.
It was alleged that the former head of the military police, Megis Kardava, had formed a network of gay agents specifically for the purpose of forming relationships with “publicly well-known” men. Agents then covertly recorded sexual or private moments with them. The footage was used to blackmail the men into giving their public support for their regime. In some cases it was alleged that money was also extorted.
“In the course of the investigation it has been established that upon instructions from former head of the military police department, Megis Kardava, senior officials of this department were gathering information about sexual minority men, secretly and illegally filming their private lives,” said the prosecutor’s office.
“Agents were taking them in flats, which were rented with state funds allocated for operative purposes, and which were equipped with covert video and audio surveillance devices.”
So far investigators have uncovered three of these flats.
The investigation was launched after one of the victims reported that they were being blackmailed.
Three high-ranking military police officers were arrested in connection with the recordings, but were later released on bail.
Mikheil Saakashvili, the previous President of Georgia, was quick to distance himself from the blackmail incidents, which took place during his time in government.
“These dirty [methods] were strictly banned under my government,” Mr Saakashvili said.
The “honey trap” network was reported to have been in place up until October 2012, when the previous government lost to newly-formed party Georgian Dream.