Suspect Connected to Attack on Georgian Opposition Leader Arrested

TBILISI - Georgian law enforcement officials have arrested a 41 year-old man in connection with the 26 February shooting of opposition party leader Alex Petriashvili.

The assailant, identified as Levan M, was detained in Georgia’s eastern resort town Borjomi as part of a joint operation carried out by investigators from Tbilisi and local police officers based in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.

Petriashvili, who served as EU integration minister from 2012 to 2014, was shot several times by several unidentified individuals while visiting a cemetery in Tbilisi’s Saburtalo district.

He suffered serious wounds to his legs, back and head, including injuries inflicted with a blunt object.

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said they had detained a second individual, who they believe is also connected to the attack.

Police seized a weapon and a hammer as evidence at the scene of the crime.

A pistol, balaclava and hammer were also seized at the time of the arrest. Preliminary DNA tests from the hummer and gun appeared to match those found at the original crime scene, the ministry said.

By Tamar Svanidze

Edited by Nicholas Waller

07 March 2016 21:40