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Georgia and U.S. join efforts in search for Arutyunyan's accomplices


TBILISI, July 25 (RIA Novosti, Marina Kvaratskhelia) - Georgian security services and the FBI started a joint search for accomplices of Vladimir Arutyunyan, who attempted to assassinate the U.S. president during his visit to Tbilisi, Chairman of the Georgian parliamentary committee on defense and security Givi Targamadze told a news conference Sunday.

Targamadze said operatives are looking for those who might have suggested the assassination idea to Arutyunyan.

"Unfortunately, we still do not have evidence pointing to the political nature of the assassination attempt. Although, we have just started looking in this direction," Targamadze said.

Georgian diplomats, who asked to remain anonymous, told RIA Novosti they did not believe Arutyunyan did not have accomplices.

Law enforcement officials also believe Arutyunyan could not have planned the assassination and attempted to carry it out alone. Officials assume he was a trained assassin.

According to unofficial information from Georgian police sources, investigators have Arutyunyan's false passport. The document used to belong to the suspect's deceased neighbor, and Arutyunyan simply changed the photo on the passport.

Investigators are looking into Arutyunyan's possible contacts with the former leadership of the Adzharian autonomous region (southeast Georgia). According to one of the leads, the suspect was in Adzharia on the eve of the "Adzharian revolution" in May 2004. Investigators are also pursuing Arutyunyan's possible contacts with foreign security services operating in Georgia.

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