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Suspect in attempted attack on U.S. and Georgian presidents admits guilt


TBILISI, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Arutyunyan, 27, suspected of the May attempted grenade attack on the U.S. and Georgian presidents has pled guilty.

"I threw a grenade at Bush," Arutyunyan told Interior Ministry's spokesman Guram Donadze. "If you are a good servant, he may give you a medal."

His interview was recorded at a hospital here and later released on to Georgian TV channels.

Arutyunyan, 27, was detained on July 20 during a special operation in a Tbilisi suburb after he shot and killed the head of the Georgian anti-terrorist center. Arutyunyan was wounded during the operation and taken to Georgian Republic Hospital. Doctors say the suspect is in critical condition and are not allowing police to question him officially.

"Doctors said he spoke about his readiness to repeat his act and perpetrate a terrorist attack on the presidents," Georgian Deputy Health Minister Irakly Giorgobiani said. "But I think he said this in an emotional state."

Extra security measures are being taken at the hospital and police dogs are patrolling the court.

The U.S. Embassy in Georgia hailed the detention of the suspect accused of throwing a grenade at President George W. Bush on Tbilisi's Freedom Square on May 10.

The suspect was detained as a result of cooperation between the Georgian Interior Ministry and the FBI, zealous investigation and the devotion of the Georgian Interior Ministry, the embassy said.

It also said that the U.S. government highly values the Interior Ministry's hard work and the courage of the police.

Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili promised to divide the $75,000 award for information about the suspect between several people, Novosti-Georgia agency said.

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