Diplomat surrenders, to be charged in fatal accidentFebruary 20, 1997
Web posted at: 12:30 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A diplomat from the southwest Asian country of Georgia turned himself in to authorities Thursday to face criminal charges over his role in an auto accident that killed a 16-year-old girl in Washington last month.
Federal law enforcement officials said Gueorgui Makharadze, 35, would be formally charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter and four counts of aggravated assault, charges that carry a maximum punishment of 70 years in prison.
Georgia, a former Soviet republic, had waived diplomatic immunity privileges for Makharadze, who was accompanied by three lawyers when he entered the police station. The attorneys left several minutes later.
The January 3 crash killed Jovian Waltrick, a Brazilian who had recently moved to Kensington, Maryland, a Washington suburb. Makharadze was speeding and had been drinking before the accident, police said.
The case raised new outcries against diplomats who accumulate traffic citations or violate other laws with immunity in the United States.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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