updated 7/26/2005 8:07:45 PM ET 2005-07-27T00:07:45

A man who admitted throwing a live grenade at President Bush during a rally in Georgia’s capital said he hoped to kill him because he believed the U.S. leader was “interfering in Georgia’s internal affairs,” his lawyer said Tuesday.

Authorities charged Vladimir Arutyunian with terrorism on Tuesday, said Arutyunian’s lawyer, Guliko Dzhimsheladze.

“Arutyunian doesn’t deny that he wanted to kill U.S. President George Bush. He explained the reason. My client believes that Bush is interfering in Georgia’s internal affairs,” she told the Associated Press.

“He maintains that this attempt on Bush’s life should not be punished by law,” she said.

Both Bush and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili were behind a bulletproof barrier addressing a rally of thousands in Tbilisi when the grenade landed about 100 feet away. It did not explode; investigators said it apparently malfunctioned.

No one was harmed in the May grenade incident, but Arutyunian was charged earlier with killing a police officer in a shootout during his arrest, as well as illegal possession of weapons. He was shown on local television last week admitting throwing the grenade.

Georgia’s Interior Ministry said that Arutyunian was believed to have been a member of a political party that supports the former leader of a region largely outside central government control.

Aslan Abashidze, the former leader of the Adzharia region, fled to Russia last year amid street protests against his authoritarian rule.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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