A man who admitted throwing a live grenade toward President Bush during a rally in the former Soviet republic of Georgia was indicted by a U.S. grand jury yesterday on charges of trying to assassinate the president.
Vladimir Arutyunian already faces terrorism and murder charges in Georgia that stem from the May 10 incident in the capital of Tbilisi and the killing of a policeman in a shootout before his arrest in July.
Bush and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili were behind a bulletproof barrier addressing a rally of thousands in Tbilisi in May when the grenade, wrapped in a plaid cloth, landed about 100 feet away. It did not explode, and investigators said it apparently malfunctioned. No one was harmed.
In a video broadcast on Georgian television, Arutyunian said he intended to spray shrapnel over the bulletproof glass. The clip was provided by the Georgian Interior Ministry.
Arutyunian's attorney, Guliko Dzhimsheladze, has said her client wanted to kill Bush because he "believes that Bush is interfering in Georgia's internal affairs."
The two-count indictment by a grand jury in Washington also accuses Arutyunian of a related weapons charge. He could face life in prison if convicted of the U.S. charges.
Whether U.S. prosecutors seek to put him on trial here could depend on the outcome of the case in Georgia and the length of his prison sentence.