Former chief bodyguard of Armenia’s ex-president Sargsyan to remain under arrest

Thu 13 Dec 2018 07:44 GMT | 11:44 Local Time

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Vachagan Ghazaryan, ex-chief of former Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan’s security detail, Ghazaryan will remain under arrest for another two months as a court has approved the prosecutor’s request on extending the customary pre-trial detention period, Armenpress reports.

Ghazaryan’s lawyer Armen Harutyunyan said an appeal against the ruling will be filed to a higher court.

Ghazaryan was arrested in summer by a court of first instance but later released on a sky-high 1,000,000,000 dram bail.

Later, a higher court ordered him to be re-arrested.

Ghazaryan served as first deputy director of the state protection service under the NSS until 2018 May 17. While in office, he was in charge of the security detail of then President Serzh Sargsyan.

Vachagan Ghazaryan was detained by National Security Service (NSS) agents on June 25 and placed under arrest the same day. Two days later he was charged for illicit enrichment and false asset declaration. He was remanded in custody pending trial on June 28.

Ghazaryan carried about half a million dollars in cash on him at the time of his arrest. He claimed that he withdrew the money from a bank with the purpose of returning it to the real owner of the money, without mentioning a name. Another 50,000 dollars was discovered in his car. The National Security Service said it had intelligence reports that Ghazaryan was planning to withdraw an additional 3,000,000 dollars from his and his wife’s bank accounts.

His wife is also charged with illicit enrichment.

Earlier in November, authorities said that couple is also suspected in money laundering involving an upscale restaurant in Yerevan.

Ghazaryan denies wrongdoing.





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