Court hearing on extending ex-security official’s arrest underway
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. A Yerevan court is examining the motion on extending the pre-trial arrest of Vachagan Ghazaryan, a former ranking security official who was in charge of ex-President Serzh Sargsyan’s security detail.
Ghazaryan was arrested by a court of first instance but later released on a sky-high 1,000,000,000 dram bail.
Later, a higher court ordered him to be re-arrested.
Ghazaryan served as first deputy director of the state protection service under the NSS until 2018 May 17. While in office, he was in charge of the security detail of then President Serzh Sargsyan.
Vachagan Ghazaryan was detained by National Security Service (NSS) agents on June 25 and placed under arrest the same day. Two days later he was charged for illicit enrichment and false asset declaration. He was remanded in custody pending trial on June 28.
Ghazaryan carried about half a million dollars in cash on him at the time of his arrest. He claimed that he withdrew the money from a bank with the purpose of returning it to the real owner of the money, without mentioning a name. Another 50,000 dollars was discovered in his car. The National Security Service said it had intelligence reports that Ghazaryan was planning to withdraw an additional 3,000,000 dollars from his and his wife’s bank accounts.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan