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Moscow Court Sanctions Arrest of Georgian MP
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 Feb.'13 / 17:10

Moscow's Basmanny district court sanctioned arrest of Georgian MP from UNM party Givi Targamadze, charged by Russia with plotting mass disorders, in absentia on February 21, the Russian news agencies reported.

Russia’s Investigative Committee filed criminal charges against MP Targamadze last week, accusing him of conspiring with Russian opposition figures for the purpose of organizing mass riots. He was charged with “crime preparation” and “organizing mass riots, accompanied by violence”, which carries a prison term from four to ten years.

As a parliamentarian, Targamadze enjoys with legislative immunity. Georgian law bans detention of a lawmaker without Parliament’s approval and the Georgian constitution bans extradition of Georgian citizen to other states.

“Targamadze is a Georgian citizen, member of the Parliament and the Georgian state will protect him,” said lawmaker from Georgian Dream, Irakli Sesiashvili, who chairs the parliamentary committee for defense and security.

In October, 2012 Russia’s Investigative Committee launched criminal proceedings against Sergei Udaltsov, a leader of protests against President Putin, and several other opposition activists.

Udaltsov was accused of plotting to organize mass riots with the help of “foreign citizens” – allegations stemming from a television documentary, which was aired by NTV, the TV channel owned by the Russian state-controlled monopoly Gazprom.

The documentary, Anatomy of a Protest – 2, includes what seems to be a secretly recorded video footage apparently showing Georgian MP Givi Targamadze meeting with some of the Russian protest leaders, allegedly also including Udaltsov; the documentary claimed that participants of the meeting were plotting large-scale disturbances in Russia with the goal to topple President Putin.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee that meeting took place in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in June, 2012. At the time Targamadze chaired the parliamentary committee for defense and security.

Targamadze has denied any involvement calling it “Putin’s fabricated propaganda”. Udaltsov has also denied having links with MP Targamadze.

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