STEPANAKERT — Charles Aznavour has expressed concern over the arrest of Armenian businessman and philanthropist Levon Hayrapetyan in Moscow. Aznavour called upon the Russian authorities to commute Hayrapetyan’s restraining order of arrest, and in consideration of his health condition.

Charles Aznavour, who has met with Levon Hayrapetyan on numerous occasions, has consistently praised his activities aimed at the development of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and Armenia, the Artsakh Today press center informed.

Levon Hayrapetyan, 65, was detained in a Moscow airport on July 15. The Russian Federation Investigation Committee has brought two criminal charges against him; the charges are prodigality and legalization of illicit income. Hayrapetyan, however, pleads innocent.

On Tuesday the parliamentary groups and factions of the National Assembly of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic adopted a statement, urging the Russian authorities to release Armenian businessman Levon Hayrapetyan. The statement reads:

On July 15 Armenian businessman Levon Hayrapetyan was arrested in Moscow. The Court satisfied the petition of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation on his 2-months’ detention and brought charges against Levon Hayrapetyan on illegal financial dealings.

We are guided by the principle of presumption of innocence, also refraining from political evaluations. Being a patriotic man, Levon Hayrapetyan has implemented numerous charity projects in his homeland, Artsakh, for years, contributing to its social and economic development.

We consider that the body conducting the preliminary investigation should urgently change the measure of restraint and release him from custody, considering Levon Hayrapetian’s health condition.

In our opinion, as a law-abiding citizen and a highly educated person, Levon Hayrapetian, while being out of prison, will provide comprehensive assistance to the investigation and will be useful in clarifying the issues of interest to the Russian Investigative Committee.

What happened is an unfortunate misunderstanding and we are convinced that the law-enforcement bodies of the Russian Federation will carry out an objective and thorough investigation that will prove Levon Hayrapetyan’s innocence.

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