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U.S. Charges Georgian Man With Trying To Kill Bush

Vladimir Arutyunian (file photo) 8 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted a Georgian man for attempting to assassinate U.S. President George W. Bush when he threw a grenade into a crowd during Bush's visit to Tbilisi last May.

The U.S. Justice Department says Vladimir Arutyunian was charged on 7 September in a two-count indictment with trying to kill Bush and with possessing, using, and carrying a firearm during a violent crime. If convicted, he faces possible life in prison.

Arutyunian, 27, faces related charges in Georgia, where he is in custody.

A Justice Department official said the U.S. government will wait until Arutyunian is tried in Georgia before deciding whether to seek his extradition to face trial in the United States.

The charges stem from an incident on 10 May while Bush was giving a speech in Tbilisi's Freedom Square. Arutyunian is accused of throwing a hand grenade into the crowd about 30 meters from the stage where Bush was standing. The live grenade failed to detonate.


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