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Georgian prosecutors charge suspects in attack on Shevardnadze

June 6, 1997

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) _ Georgian prosecutors have charged 14 people in connection with a bomb attack on President Eduard Shevardnadze almost two years ago, the prosecutor general said Friday.

State coup and assassination attempt charges are among those filed with the republic’s Supreme Court, Prosecutor General Dzhamlet Babilashvili said.

Shevardnadze was cut by flying glass when a bomb exploded in his motorcade on Aug. 29, 1995, as the president was leaving for a ceremonial signing of the country’s constitution.

The suspects include Shevardnadze’s former supporter, Dzhaba Ioseliani _ a warlord who helped oust this former Soviet republic’s first popularly elected president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, and advocated Shevardnadze’s nomination.

The suspects could face the death penalty if convicted, Babilashvili said. He said Ioseliani, who is nearly 70 years old, is unlikely to be sentenced to death despite the attempted murder and state coup charges against him.

Other suspects include a former deputy security service chief, former warlord Giga Gelashvili, and a former security chief who has fled to Russia to escape arrest.

Most suspects had been members of the outlawed Mkhedrioni organization, an armed group that had helped oust Gamsakhurdia in 1992.

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