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Georgian police accuse opposition party of forming armed group

RIA Novosti

17:41 23/06/2011 TBILISI, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - Four members of the opposition Georgian Party have been arrested on suspicion of forming an armed group, the former Soviet republic's Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.

"The intelligence department of the Georgian Interior Ministry has detained an organized criminal group, some members of which are associated with the Georgian Party," the ministry said.

Party leader Irakli Okruashvili, a former defense minister who earlier said he would return to Georgia but later gave up his plans, said the police had detained the head of a regional branch of the party in Eastern Georgia Levan Terashvili, his brother, Kakhaber Terashvili, and two other activists of the Georgian Party.

Sozar Subari, the chairman of the Georgian Party and a former national ombudsman, said police "planted" weapons in Terashvili's house.

The Interior Ministry said it has video and audio materials regarding "plans party members intended to carry out in late May."

A five-day opposition protest against the country's president, Mikheil Saakashvili, organized by Nino Burdzhanadze, the leader of the People's Assembly party, and other opposition leaders, was dispersed in the early hours on May 26 on Tbilisi's Rustaveli Avenue. A total of 37 people were hospitalized, eight of them police officers.

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