Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   22 March

Wanted ex-minister has fled Armenia, NSS says

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 21, ARMENPRESS. Former Minister of Nature Protection and former MP Aram Harutyunyan (pictured above) has fled the country by illegally crossing the border, National Security Service Director Arthur Vanetsyan told reporters today.

Harutyunyan is wanted on corruption-related criminal charges.

Speaking about Levon Sargsyan, the younger brother of ex-President Serzh Sargsyan, Vanetsyan said that he had crossed the country borders legally. Levon Sargsyan was serving as Ambassador At-Large at the foreign ministry when criminal charges were pressed against him. But Vanetsyan says he was able to leave the country because at that time there was no court order. “At that time there was no measure of restraint against him, that’s why I, as NSS Director, did not have any authority to restrict his freedom of movement”, he said.

Arrest warrants for Harutyunyan and Sargsyan remain outstanding.

Levon Sargsyan is charged with illicit enrichment and false asset declaration.

According to Vanetsyan, they have intelligence on the whereabouts of Levon Sargsyan, however they need to have mechanisms in order to apprehend and bring him back. Asked to elaborate on the location of Sargsyan, the NSS Director only said that he is in one of the Arab countries.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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