|Fugitive Georgian opposition leader 'created armed unit'|
|June 29, 2011|
(AFP) Georgia on Tuesday charged fugitive opposition leader and former defence minister Irakli Okruashvili with setting up an armed gang for use in his failed attempt to return to the country.
"He is accused of creating and leading an illegal armed unit," the state prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Eight opposition supporters were also charged last week with forming an armed group to assist Okruashvili after he vowed to come back to Georgia during protest rallies in May.
The fugitive politician however decided not to return, the protests were dispersed by riot police and two people died after being hit by an opposition motorcade, according to officials.
Opposition leaders said that the charges against Okruashvili's alleged collaborators had been fabricated.
The former minister, who was once a close ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili, went into exile and was given political asylum in France after dramatically turning against the Georgian leader and going into opposition in 2007.
After fleeing, he was sentenced to 11 years in jail for corruption.
The charges against him helped to fuel demonstrations in 2007 that were crushed by police in the ex-Soviet republic.
|< Prev||Next >|