Ally and brother-in-arms of detained MP speaks out: “How can someone degenerate from hero to thief”
YEREVAN, JUNE 19, ARMENPRESS. Republican Party (HHK) lawmaker Seyran Saroyan, the former general who is a close ally and brother-in-arms of arrested MP Manvel Grigoryan, says he has been shocked by the discoveries regarding Grigoryan.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the special session of the parliament today, Saroyan said that the arrested lawmaker is a very closed man and even his own children don’t know what he owns or not. “Manvel’s right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing”, he said. “No one knew what Manvel had, how was I supposed to know?”
Without the slightest mention of a presumption of innocent, he said what Grigoryan did is an “embarrassment”.
“I am shocked since yesterday, the letters of the children…..I was dead, buried. I had doctors by my side yesterday. How can someone degenerate from a hero to a thief of canned food. What didn’t he have, what did he lack…”, he said.
Saroyan said he initially thought that the national security agents had detained Grigoryan in suspicion of illegal possession of firearms. “Who would think that this man would go so low. I won’t speak to him”, he said.
Member of Parliament Manvel Grigoryan, a former general who chairs the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union, a paramilitary organization, was arrested on June 16 by national security service in his hometown of Ejmiatsin (Vagharshapat).
The lawmaker from the Republican Party faction is suspected in embezzling military supplies and illegal possession of firearms. Upon searching the compound of Grigoryan, agents found huge amounts of military weapons and ammunition and supplies, including donated food and clothing which was meant to be sent to soldiers in Artsakh back in 2016. The donated supplies even include letters written by schoolchildren during the days of the April War of 2016.
The Prosecutor General requested an extraordinary sitting of the parliament to take place to strip the MP of parliamentary immunity, in order to keep him in pre-trial custody.
The MP has denied any wrongdoing, and in a letter sent to the Speaker said he will restore his reputation, and called on his colleagues to strip him of immunity since “he has no desire to obstruct the investigation”.
A private zoo and a large car collection were also found during the search of the compound.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan