Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 November

Pre-remand video shows MP Manvel Grigoryan chose not to leave courtroom despite being entitled to

YEREVAN, JUNE 22, ARMENPRESS. A video of MP Manvel Grigoryan made in a courthouse when the former general wasn’t yet remanded in custody has emerged online.

In the video, Grigoryan is seen talking to a man, presumably an attorney, about why he prefers to remain in the courthouse, despite the term of his arrest was expired.

It turns out that Manvel Grigoryan could have walked free between this period, but he had chosen not to.

“Now we have an issue of honor, I don’t know who wants to prove what, but I am the one who needs to prove the most. I have commanded tens of thousands of people, I have passed a path with tens of thousands of people, I don’t know who thinks what about me today. What’s important is that I act correctly. I don’t have the right to be angry on the country. I must not obstruct. Even my close friends don’t understand me, but I believe in my country, in justice and my friends. If something goes wrong, time is the judge of everyone, you will know who he was, neither do I want for history to repeat itself, for someone to take responsibility for someone else. A year, ten years later regardless if I am here or not, it will be talked about,” Grigoryan says in the video.

Member of Parliament Manvel Grigoryan was arrested on June 16. Authorities were entitled to keep the Member of Parliament detained up to 72 hours because of the parliamentary immunity. On June 19, the parliament voted in favor of stripping the MP of immunity and a court remanded the lawmaker in custody. Grigoryan is accused in grand theft and illegal acquisition and possession of firearms.

Manvel Grigoryan, the former general who is suspected in misappropriating military supplies and donations, as well as illegal possession of firearms, will remain in pre-trial detention for two months.

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.

On June 19, the parliament voted to strip the MP of immunity and approved launching criminal proceedings.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan




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