Accessibility links

Georgian Prosecutors Charge Opposition Leader With Coup Plot


Georgian prosecutors have charged failed opposition presidential candidate Badri Patarkatsishvili with plotting a coup and organizing a terrorist attack.

The charges were announced Thursday in Tbilisi. Patarkatsishvili lives in self-imposed exile in London. Prosecutors say they have frozen the media tycoon's personal accounts in a Georgian bank.

In a statement from London Thursday, Patarkatsishvili said he is innocent of all charges and intends to clear his name.

Patarkatsishvili - an outspoken opponent of President Mikhail Saakashvili - was the driving force behind opposition protests in November that led the president to call early elections.

In those polls - held last week - Mr. Saakashvili won election to a second term. Candidate Patarkatsishvili pulled less than seven percent of the vote.

The opposition has accused the president of rigging the vote. Opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze urged supporters to protest election results in Tbilisi Sunday.

Georgian prosecutors also have accused Patarkatsishvili of offering a $100 million bribe to a top security official to help boost anti-government demonstrations.

Patarkatsishvili, who co-owns Georgia's Imedi television station, has acknowledged offering the money. But he said it was only to persuade police not to crack down on opposition protests as they did in November.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

XS
SM
MD
LG