MOSCOW, September 5 (RAPSI) - The Georgian Interior Ministry began the destruction of illegal recordings of the private lives of citizens made during the previous administration's reign.

The ministry reports that the total runtime of the recordings amounts to about 181 hours and 30 minutes.

Over 12,000 video files recorded illegally by various government agencies were stored in the ministry's archive. The recordings contained materials compromising politicians, journalists, clergy members, and public figures. Moreover, secret caches of damaging information, arms and drugs were found in western Georgia.

A special commission, featuring members of the government, NGOs, the Public Defender human rights group, and other public organizations, was established to destroy the compromising materials, the Newsgeorgia agency reported.

"The commission announced that the Interior Ministry has discovered 5,000 more video recordings in the past two or three weeks," Lasha Tugushi, a special commission member and the editor of Georgias Rezonansi newspaper said.

The commission resolved to consider destroying the files after former Deputy Interior Minister Gela Khvedelidze posted compromising video footage online featuring journalist Georgi Paresashavili. The minister was arrested for violating his privacy.