Georgian opposition blames government for attack on Bush

RIA Novosti, Russia
July 28 2005

Georgian opposition blames government for attack on Bush
16:55 | 28/ 07/ 2005

TBILISI, July 28 (RIA Novosti, Marina Kvaratskhelia) – The May 10
attempted attack on U.S. President George W. Bush in Tbilisi was
masterminded by the Georgian special services, said Shalva
Natelashvili, leader of the opposition Georgian Labor Party.

“Having analyzed the information I have received, I would like to
claim that the May 10 terrorist attack on Bush was perpetrated by
Saakashvili’s special services to save his ruined image and
dictatorship,” Natelashvili said Thursday. “Saakashvili wants his
name to be used with that of the U.S. president for the sake of his
image of a fighter for democracy and a victim of terrorism.”

The opposition leader said Vladimir Arutyunyan, suspected of the
grenade attack, was a Georgian secret agent and was provided with
weapons.

Natelashvili said Georgian investigators should be estranged from the
investigation, which should be conducted by the FBI, while Arutyunyan
should be extradited to the United States.

Charges of terrorism were brought against Arutyunyan, 27, an ethnic
Armenian suspected of the attack on the U.S. and Georgian presidents,
on July 26.

He was also accused of the illicit purchase, possesion, making and
transport of ammunition and explosives and aggravated killing.

Arutyunyan, who had thrown a grenade during Bush’s speech on
Tbilisi’s Freedom Square, was detained on July 20 during a special
operation in a Tbilisi suburb after he shot and killed the head of
the Georgian anti-terrorist center. He is facing life imprisonment.

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