TBILISI (AP)–A court has convicted a man of trying to assassinate US President George W. Bush and the leader of Georgia by throwing a grenade at them during a rally in Tbilisi in May 2005. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Vladimir Arutyunian was also convicted of killing a policeman in the course of an operation to arrest him several weeks after the May 10 incident at a rally that drew tens of thousands of people to the capital of this former Soviet republic.
The grenade that Arutyunian threw during the rally attended by Bush and President Mikhail Saakashvili landed about 100 feet from the stage where they were standing behind a bulletproof barrier and did not explode. No one was hurt.
The grenade–which was wrapped in a cloth–apparently malfunctioned–investigators said.
Arutyunian–whose trial began last month–has acknowledged that he threw the grenade in the direction of the stage and said he would try to kill Bush again if he had the chance.
He was shown on television saying that he had thrown the grenade high with the goal of having it explode so that the bulletproof glass would not block shrapnel.
Bush and Saakashvili learned of the incident only after the rally.