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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 19:34 GMT 20:34 UK
Bush grenade suspect faces charge
Suspect Vladimir Arutyunian
A $80,000 reward was offered for information about the suspect
Georgia's prosecutors have charged a man suspected of throwing a grenade at a rally attended by US President George W Bush in May with premeditated murder.

The charge relates to the killing of a policeman who tried to arrest the suspect, Vladimir Arutyunian, this week in a raid near the capital, Tbilisi.

A spokeswoman for the Georgian prosecutor's office said Mr Arutyunian was formally presented with the charge.

The grenade was thrown as Mr Bush spoke in Tbilisi, but it did not explode.

It was found about 30m (100ft) from the stage when President Bush - together with his Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili - stood behind bullet-proof glass.

Deadly shootout

Georgian officials earlier said Mr Arutyunian, 27, opened fire on the police when they came to his house near Tbilisi on Wednesday to question him.

Mikhail Saakashvili (left) and George W Bush in Tbilisi on 10 May
Mr Bush (right) spoke to the crowd from behind bullet-proof glass

They said Mr Arutyunian shot dead one of the policemen before escaping.

He fled to a nearby wood, firing shots as the police encircled him until he was finally captured - apparently injured - and taken in for questioning.

Georgian police on Monday announced a 150,000 lari ($80,000, 45,000) reward for information leading to the suspect's capture.

Protecting the US president abroad
11 May 05 |  Americas
Bush praises Georgian democracy
10 May 05 |  Europe

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