Former Armenian President Sargsyan – criminal or victim of political persecution?
The lawyers of former Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan say the evidence in the case against their client is not enough to prove the allegations against him or even the existence of a crime.
Sargsyan stands as a suspect in the so-called “diesel” case, and is accused of the abuse of office and embezzlement of more than one million USD from budget funds during his time in office.
Meanwhile, Sargsyan’s lawyers claim there are rampant violations in the case against their client and consider the case a political persecution by the new authorities.
The ruling party in turn says the lawyers of the former head of state simply do not have legally sound, legal arguments against the accusation.
Lawyers claim lack of convincing evidenc
Sargsyan’s lawyers says the evidence presented in the case against Sargsyan does not hold water. Moreover, they say that “the data collected clearly demonstrate the absence of a crime in general”.
The lawyers of the former president also claim that there are no proven facts on the basis of which the investigator could decide to seize the property of Sargsyan.
“This confirms our belief that political prosecution is hidden behind the criminal procedural packaging of the case against Serzh Sargsyan,” the statement said.
Most importantly, the lawyers say that according to the constitution of Armenia, the president is immune from political prosecution.
The response of the ruling party
Ruling parliamentary My Step party MP Gayane Abrahamyan responded to the statement of Serzh Sargsyan’s lawyers, saying the Sargsyan team has raised the issue to the political plane because it has no legal arguments against the accusation:
“If the ruling political force aspired to political pressure, it would have done so a year ago, two years ago, immediately after the revolution, without even having a sufficient legal basis in that situation, but solely on the basis of the logic and philosophy of the revolution, which took place in a number of other countries. But we did not follow this path, and all this, all these matters must be considered in the legal field. Only they want to bring this out of the legal field into the political, because it is beneficial for them, because that is the only place they can find protection.”
The MP also commented on the president’s immunity.
“The actions by which charges are being brought against him at the moment did not follow in any way from his authority and in no way fell within the scope of his activities.”