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Family of Ex-Armenian Leader Sargsyan Targeted by New Authorities

Two brothers of ousted former president face legal probes, along with other members of the old ruling elite.

5 July 2018

The new Armenian government’s anti-corruption drive has now caught two brothers of the ousted former president in its net.

 

Former President Serzh Sargsyan’s (pictured) younger brother Aleksander (Sashik) was detained yesterday by security officers. Last week, the State Revenue Committee opened criminal proceedings against another Sargsyan brother, Levon, and his family on suspicion of tax evasion, Asbarez.com reports.

 

Aleksander Sargsyan’s son, Hayk Sargsyan, was also taken into custody.

 

Aleksander Sargsyan was detained and then released last week, after he and Serzh Sargsyan’s former bodyguard, Vachakan Ghazaryan, were taken into custody on weapons possession charges. Officers seized $2 million from Ghazaryan, who was formally charged with illegal enrichment.

 

Since opposition activist Nikol Pashinyan led a wave of popular unrest to the prime ministership just under two months ago, doubts have been raised about his ability to crack down on the endemic corruption of Serzh Sargsyan’s decade in power.

 

But as bne Intellinews writes, law enforcement agencies seem to have been emboldened to take on officials of the former ruling Republican Party and its allies.

 

Protesters have stepped up calls for the ouster of Yerevan Mayor Taron Markaryan following the release of a video showing footage of his “lavish property,” Intellinews says, citing RFE/RL.

 

In mid-June, two senior officials in the Yerevan city government were arrested on 14 June on corruption charges related to a municipal fund overseen by Markaryan, who is affiliated with the Republicans.

 

 

  • National Security Service agents confiscated several bags containing firearms from Aleksandar Sargsyan’s residence, according to Asbarez.

 

  • Proceedings against Levon Sargsyan began shortly after the Revenue Committee said it had fined a company linked to him $1.7 million for tax evasion.

 

  • The security chief of businessman-politician Gagik Tsarukyan has been detained on suspicion of causing grave bodily harm, an adviser to the Armenian Investigative Service told RFE/RL on 3 July.

 

  • Tsarukyan’s parliamentary faction played the role of loyal opposition party under Serzh Sargsyan’s administration, but switched sides and endorsed Pashinyan, “playing a key role in his election and becoming a de-facto member of the Pashinyan-controlled ruling majority in parliament,” Eurasianet.org wrote last month.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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