Footage Information

ABCNEWS VideoSource
Georgia Suspect - Suspect in Bush grenade case stitches lips together
NAME: GEO SUSPECT 20051227I TAPE: EF05/1143 IN_TIME: 11:10:11:16 DURATION: 00:00:45:09 SOURCES: AP TELEVISION DATELINE: Tbilisi - 27 Dec 2005 RESTRICTIONS: SHOTLIST 27 December 2005 1. Wide of courtroom 2. Close up of suspect Vladimir Arutyunyan's face with his lips stitched together inside fence 3. Mid of people in the court room 4. Wide of Vladimir Arutyunyan writing note to his lawyer 5. Close up of same 6. Mid of Arutyunyan passing note to lawyer 7. Mid of lawyer reading the note 8. Wide of courtroom 26 December 2005 9. SOUNDBITE (Georgian) Lizi Japaridze, Vladimir Arutyunian's lawyer: "The report says that he is mentally sane and the way he speaks, his behaviour on the whole, is not a normal person." 27 December 2005 10. Wide pan of courtroom STORYLINE A man charged with trying to assassinate the presidents of the United States and Georgia appeared in court on Tuesday with his mouth sewn shut in what he called a show of solidarity with thousands of inmates conducting a hunger strike in the ex-Soviet republic. Vladimir Arutyunian faces life in prison for allegedly trying to assassinate visiting US President George W. Bush and President Mikhail Saakashvili at a rally in May and for killing a policeman in a shootout before his arrest. Arutyunian, whose trial began earlier this month, has acknowledged that he threw a grenade in the direction of the stage where Bush and Saakashvili were standing behind a bulletproof barrier and said that he would try again to kill Bush if he had the chance. The grenade Arutyunian is accused of throwing landed about 100 feet (30 metres) from the stage. It did not explode, and no one was hurt. Arutyunian has refused to testify before the court, saying the verdict was preordained, and has demanded the presence of human rights monitors. On Tuesday, he conveyed a written statement to judges saying that his mouth was sewn shut to display support for inmates who are conducting a hunger strike to demand better conditions. The Justice Ministry said on Monday that four thousand of Georgia's nine thousand prison inmates were participating in the protest, which 700 inmates at one prison started on Saturday. Saakashvili was elected by a landslide in January 2004 after leading protests that prompted the resignation of longtime President Eduard Shevardnadze. But he faces criticism from rivals who say that despite his stance as a champion of democracy, he is intolerant of dissent and is seeking to tighten control over the impoverished Caucasus Mountain nation.