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Georgia's Ex-Defense Minister Okruashvili Arrested

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Irakli Okruashvili

Georgia's former defense minister and current leader of the Victorious Georgia political party, Irakli Okruashvili, has been arrested by police in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Okruashvili is among the suspects arrested and charged in connection with an attempt last month to storm the parliament, the Interior Ministry told journalists on July 25.

The suspects are accused of inciting violence during the protests.

Mamuka Chelidze, head of the Interior Ministry's criminal police department, told a news conference that Okruashvili and others urged on demonstrators who tried to violently invade the parliament building. He alleged that Okruashvili also participated in various group acts of violence.

Prosecutors have alleged that the mass protests that roiled the Georgian capital last month were part of an attempted coup by unnamed individuals seeking to seize power.

Protesters initially gathered outside parliament on June 20 after a Russian lawmaker had sat in the Georgian parliamentary speaker's seat while addressing a council of deputies from predominantly Orthodox Christian countries.

Violent clashes between protesters and police ensued with hundreds of injuries and arrests.

With reporting by Interfax and Georgian Today
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