YEREVAN — A court in Yerevan on Friday ordered the release from pre-trial custody of retired army general and former MP Manvel Grigorian prosecuted on corruption charges.
Grigorian’s wife, Nazik Amirian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that he was freed after paying a 25 million-dram ($52,000) bail.
The court extended Grigorian’s arrest as recently as on December 12. It ignored his lawyers’ arguments that the 62-year-old is suffering from several serious illnesses, including cancer. The lawyers said he cannot receive adequate medical treatment in prison.
Grigorian was arrested when security forces raided his properties in and around the town of Echmiadzin in June. They found many weapons, ammunition, medication and field rations for soldiers provided by the Armenian Defense Ministry. They also discovered canned food and several vehicles donated by Armenians at one of Grigorian’s mansions.
The once feared general denies the accusations of illegal arms possession and embezzlement leveled against him.
Grigorian served as Armenia’s deputy defense minister from 2000-2008. Until his arrest he was also the chairman of the Yerkrapah Union of Karabakh war veterans, an organization which was particularly influential in the 1990s and the early 2000s. He was reelected to the Armenian parliament in April 2017 on the ticket of then President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party.
Prosecutor General’s Office stated that it will appeal the decision of the court of 1st instance to release Grigorian from jail on bail.
“The Prosecutor General’s Office has received the decision of the court. It’s not grounded and the prosecution will appeal the decision of the court”, Arevik Khachatryan head of the agency press service said.