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Tea Tutberidze and allies launch new attack on the Catholicos-Patriarch

December 3, 2009 by georgiamedia

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Tea Tutberidze, who became a hate figure amongst some Orthodox believers after she distributed videos mocking the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, has returned to her claims that the patriarch had strong links with the Soviet state security apparatus.

In an open letter to the Patriarch, Ilia II, Tutberidze and a number of other prominent Georgians have ask whether he had co-operated with the committee for state security - generally known in the west by its KGB initials - and accuse him of inaction in the face of Soviet repression and then in the later "Tbilisi war" and subsequent civil war.

Kamra demonstration 2003 licensed under the Creative Commons, attribution: ZarazaTutberidze, who was a key figure, alongside Gigi Ugulava, in the Kamra youth movement (pictured) that fermented the Rose Revolution of 2003, caused consternation in many parts of Georgian society in October when it became known she had distributed videos, via her Facebook page, of the Patriarch appearing (in an over-dubbed voice) to advise people to "get together to **** Saakashvili".

As a leading figure in the Liberty Institue - regarded by many as the intellectual driver of Mikheil Saakashvili's extended journey from a liberal politician to a libertarian ideologue - Tutberidze's role in attacking Ilia II caused the government severe embarassment.

That was only made worse when the Ministry for Internal Affairs arrested two people and seized computer equipment before admitting making and distributing the videos was not a crime and that they had only acted in response to the public outcry.

The Patriarch, who entered a Moscow seminary when Joesph Stalin was still the Soviet dictator, is undoubtedly the most respected man in Georgia and once had a very good relationship with Mikheil Saakashvili. But in Sepetmber the Patriarch compared the president to a man who repeatedly banged his head against a brick wall.

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