Parliament approves Prosecutor General’s motion, arrested MP to remain in custody
YEREVAN, JUNE 19, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian parliament has approved the motion of the Prosecutor General on keeping MP Manvel Grigoryan in custody.
Eighty-two MPs took part in the vote, with 77 voting in favor and three against. Two ballots were declared invalid.
Earlier today the parliament also approved the prosecutor’s motion on stripping the MP of immunity and launching criminal proceedings. Eighty-one MPs voted in favor, three against and one ballot was declared invalid in the first vote. Two separate votes were held – one for approving the motion on stripping of immunity, and the other on approving the pre-trial detention.
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