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Grenade Suspect Charged With Policeman's Murder In Georgia

Arutyunian (file photo) 22 July 2005 (NCA) -- A Tbilisi resident suspected of throwing a faulty hand grenade toward President Mikheil Saakashvili and visiting U.S. President George W. Bush last May was charged today with the murder of a police officer.

Vladimir Arutyunian, a 27-year-old ethnic Armenian, was arrested yesterday following a shoot-out in which he killed the head of the Interior Ministry's counter-intelligence department.

Meanwhile, photographs posted today on the Interior Ministry's website show Arutyunian allegedly holding a grenade wrapped in a red handkerchief, minutes before throwing it at Bush and Saakashvili.

The ministry yesterday released a video showing Arutyunian admitting to throwing the device with the aim of harming Bush.

But Tbilisi Prosecutor Giorgi Ghviniashvili today said Arutyunian had not confessed to investigators, making it impossible to charge him over the grenade incident.

(imedi tv ge/novosti-gruziya ge/civil georgia/