Top Georgian Lawmaker Charged with Plotting Riots in Russia

MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian investigators have charged Givi Targamadze, the head of the Georgian parliament’s defense and security committee, with plotting mass riots, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Thursday.

Targamadze was charged in absentia with preparing to organize mass riots, jointly with Russian opposition figures – Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, his aide Konstantin Lebedev and another activist who is being held at a prison in Irkutsk, Leonid Razvozzhayev. Udaltsov and Lebedev are currently under house arrest.

In October, NTV, a pro-Kremlin TV channel, aired a documentary that claimed Targamadze had met with Udaltsov to plan riots in the Russian capital.

Targamadze, former head of the Georgian parliament’s defense and security committee, may soon be put on an international wanted list.

Markin said the charges were brought after Russia received an official response from Georgia that Targamadze does not have parliamentary immunity.

The riots in question took place after a major opposition rally in Moscow last May. The rally ended in violent clashes between protesters and the police. Investigators say the clashes were organized by Udaltsov, Razvozzhayev and Lebedev during a meeting with Targamadze. All four men deny the charges.

Georgian prosecutors did not rule out that a criminal case may be launched against Targamadze should Russia submit a relevant request, but said the former deputy will never be extradited to Russia as it is forbidden by the Georgian Constitution.


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