YEREVAN — Former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is being prosecuted in a new corruption case, officials and his lawyer say.
Marina Ohanjanyan, a spokesperson for the Anti-Corruption Committee, confirmed on November 22 Sargsyan’s status as an accused party in the criminal case. She did not provide details.
The Anti-Corruption Committee was set up earlier this year to prosecute corruption-related crimes.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sargsyan’s lawyer announced that his client had been summoned by the committee to be interrogated in a new criminal case.
Lawyer Amram Makinyan wrote on Facebook that the case is linked to testimony made against Sargsyan, who was president between 2008 and 2018, by a woman whom he identified only as Silva.
Makinyan was apparently referring to businesswoman Silva Hambardzumyan, whose name has been associated with a high-profile corruption case against another former Armenian president, Robert Kocharyan.
“The irony is that, after 3 1/2 years, they have decided that Silva would testify that she gave a bribe to Serzh Sargsyan too,” the lawyer said.
“As part of the same case, Serzh Sargsyan was questioned as a witness two years ago, and no new circumstances have emerged legally since then,” he wrote, suggesting that the case had been initiated for political reasons.
Sargsyan went on trial in Yerevan a year ago to face corruption charges he has also rejected as being politically motivated.
The ex-president is accused of organizing the embezzlement of about $1 million in relation to the alleged misappropriation of fuel.
Sargsyan is also suspected of abuse of power in a criminal case launched last month over the alleged misappropriation of state money.
The case was opened after a leading Armenian investigation website, the Fact Investigation Platform, reported that during Sargsyan’s tenure as president, the presidential plane made more than a dozen flights to the German resort of Baden-Baden at the expense of the budget.
Sargsyan and members of his political team also reject these allegations as politically motivated.