Georgia will not extradite Targamadze to Russia - prosecutors

Georgia has refused to extradite parliamentarian Givi Targamadze, who has been accused by Russia of involvement in masterminding clashes during an opposition rally on Bolotnaya Square in central Moscow on May 6.

The constitution bans the extradition of Georgian citizens to other countries, a Chief Prosecutor's Office spokesman said.

"Given this circumstance, it would be impossible to turn Targamadze over to Russia, should an appropriate request be received from the Russian side," he said.

"An investigation against Targamadze could be carried out only within the state if an appropriate request is forwarded. The processing of such requests usually takes three weeks," the spokesman said.

Russia has not asked the Georgian Prosecutor's Office to look into the deputy's activities, he said.

"Since diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia were broken off, it is impossible for the investigative agencies of the two countries to cooperate at the official level. The constitution of Georgia prohibits the extradition of its citizens to other countries," Georgia's lawyer and human rights campaigner Gela Nikolaishvili told Interfax on Thursday.

It will be a legal violation if the Georgian Prosecutor's Office agrees to start an inquiry against Targamadze at Moscow's request, he said.

Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax on Thursday that the committee possessed documents proving contacts between Targamadze and Russian opposition leaders and his role in organizing disturbances on Bolotnaya Square on May 6.

The committee will soon forward a request to Georgia, seeking its assistance in the Bolotnaya Square clashes inquiry, Markin

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