Two months have passed since Georgian police declared that somebody had thrown a grenade at U.S. President Bush during his visit to Georgia. The grenade then failed to explode and no one was hurt. Finally, Georgian police have released a photo of the suspect.
Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili said the man was believed to between 25 and 35 years old and 175-180 centimeters tall (5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches). He said the photo was being published and distributed to police and border guards in Georgia, says PRAVDA.Ru.
Merabishvili also announced a reward of 150,000 lari (US$75,000; Ђ66,300) for information leading to the identification of the dark-haired man in dark glasses pictured in the photo.
Georgian and U.S. authorities believe the man threw a grenade in the crowd of tens of thousands who watched Bush speak on May 10 in the former Soviet republic's capital, Tbilisi, Merabishvili told reporters, says the AP.
Prosecutor General Zurab Adeishvili said late last month that Georgian authorities would soon be able to name the suspect, but Merabishvili said officials did not know the name of the man in the picture.
According to Interfax, FBI spokesman Brian Parman said in May, that the grenade was live. Several weeks ago Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said, police “knows who is behind” the attempt at Bush. But till now no further details were provided.
The live grenade landed less than 100 feet (31 meters) from the podium but did not explode.
A preliminary investigation indicated the activation device deployed too slowly to hit the blasting cap hard enough, the FBI said.
Georgian officials had initially claimed the grenade was not set to explode, and U.S. officials initially said that Bush had been in no danger, but they later said the grenade was a threat to his life.
Bush spoke from behind bulletproof glass, addressing tens of thousands of Georgians in a main Tbilisi square. President Mikhail Saakashvili also was on the podium when Bush spoke, raising the prospect that the grenade could have been directed at him.
The Kremlin has taken two strong steps in a war of nerves that has caused quite a stir in the NATO-Ukraine alliance