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Georgian Republic begins trial of would-be Bush assassin

[JURIST] The trial of Vladimir Arutunyan [Wikipedia profile], the Georgian man who attempted to assassinate US President George W. Bush with a grenade when Bush was visiting the former Soviet state earlier this year, began Monday. Arutunyan is accused of throwing a grenade at Bush while the president was addressing a crowd in the main square of the Tbilisi. The grenade malfunctioned, but would have exploded within 50 meters of the president. Arutunyan, who confessed but later recanted, faces life imprisonment for charges of plotting a terrorist attack, illegal purchase and storing of arms, and attempted murder. In September, Arutunyan was indicted by a US federal grand jury [DOJ press release; JURIST report] for attempting to kill Bush and possessing a firearm during a violent crime, but US Justice Department officials have said they will wait until Arutunyan's trial in Georgia is completed before deciding whether to seek his extradition. Reuters has more.

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