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Georgian police arrest 10 opposition activists

Georgian police arrest 10 opposition activists

Georgian police arrested 10 opposition activists including the husband of a likely presidential candidate on suspicion of illegally buying firearms, authorities said Monday.
Opposition leaders, however, accused police of planting weapons at the homes of some of the activists so they could be arrested.
Former parliamentary Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze said police arrested 10 activists of her United Georgia party, including her husband. She accused President Mikhail Saakashvili of "terrorizing" his opponents and said weapons were planted at the homes of at least two of the activists.
Burdzhanadze, a former Saakashvili supporter who will likely run in the 2013 presidential election, created the party in late November.
The Interior Ministry said the arrests late Sunday followed weeks of surveillance and police accused the suspects of illegally buying firearms. Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said Burdzhanadze "politicized" the arrests.
Saakashvili, a U.S. ally, was elected in a landslide in 2004, but has faced mounting criticism for what the opposition calls his increasingly authoritarian policies. He won a second five-year term in January 2008 despite opposition efforts to unseat him.
His popularity plummeted after he lost a war with Russia in August over the breakaway province of South Ossetia.


Updated : 2021-10-26 14:42 GMT+08:00