Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   25 June

Lawmakers approve launching criminal proceedings against arrested colleague

YEREVAN, JUNE 19, ARMENPRESS. Eighty-one Members of Parliament voted in favor of the Prosecutor General’s motion to launch criminal proceedings against arrested lawmaker Manvel Grigoryan, the former general suspected in embezzlement of military supplies and illegal possession of firearms.

Eighty-one MPs voted in favor of the motion, with only three against. One ballot was invalid, chairman of the counting committee Gagik Melikyan 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.

The photo above shows chairman of the counting committee Gagik Melikyan. 

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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