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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgia Seeks Extradition of Suspects in Assassination Plot

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said Monday that Georgia was asking Russia to extradite two Georgian citizens who were suspected of involvement in a February 1998 assassination attempt against him.

Russian forces recently detained Verphvia Durglishvili, 38, and Soso Toria, 45, in the Gudermes region of Chechnya. Shevardnadze told reporters that the two should be brought to Georgia to face trial.

Noting that two of his bodyguards had been killed in the attack on his motorcade on a central Tbilisi thoroughfare, Shevardnadze said, "The crime must not go without punishment. Justice must have its say."

Shevardnadze hailed recent cooperation between Russian and Georgian special services, which was negotiated following furious Russian accusations that Georgia was abetting Chechen rebels and international terrorists.

Georgia recently acceded to Moscow's demands for the extradition of several Chechen rebels caught on the border between the two countries.

Paata Mskhiladze, the head of the international department of the Georgian prosecutor general's office, said all the necessary documents to request the two detainees' extradition had been prepared and were being sent to Moscow on Monday.