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Georgia: Red Cross Asked To Lift Immunity Of Mission Head

Tbilisi, 14 July 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The Georgian government has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva to lift the diplomatic immunity of its mission head in Tbilisi, Alexander Marinov.

Tbilisi Prosecutor General Nugzar Gabrichidze told a news conference today that authorities want Marinov, a Bulgarian citizen, to face charges for running over two pedestrians while driving his car yesterday. Both pedestrians, identified as 32-year-old Lasha Sulaberidze and 32-year-old Davit Djakeli died in the accident, which happened in downtown Tbilisi. Police allege that Marinov was drunk at the time. He refused to take a breathalyzer test and had to be released.

Gabrichidze told journalists that the Red Cross in Geneva has asked for three to four days to evaluate Marinov's status. Our correspondent reports that if Marinov's immunity is not lifted, Georgian authorities cannot legally prevent him from leaving the country.