Mayor of Yerevan and brothers of former president at the centre of corruption scandals
Mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan is at the centre of a corruption investigation conducted by journalists.
A twenty minute video made public online shows estates, cars and various sources of additional income belonging to Margaryan. It is estimated that Taron Margaryan would need 210 years to accumulate such a fortune with his current salary. The second part of the investigation is expected to go public soon.
Margaryan has not yet commented on the video.
A small protest took place today in front of the mayor’s office, where demonstrators demanded the resignation of the mayor.
The investigation material has already been handed over to the National Security Service.
Meanwhile, the National Security Service has released statements revealing more cases of corruption. At the epicenter of the scandals is the the entourage of the former Armenian president, Serzh Sargsyan.
After the sensational detention of General Manvel Grigoryan, the National Security Service announced that a company owned by Serzh Sargsyan’s brother, Levon Sargsyan, had failed to pay taxes. Today, another brother of Sargsyan, Alexander Sargsyan, was detained in the centre of Yerevan. Law enforcement authorities report that he is suspected of illegal weapons possession.
Political scientist Stepan Grigoryan believes that these events are a matter of restoring the rule of law:
“This is not like a vendetta. If a well-known public and political figure, a combatant, a person who fought in Karabakh, violates the law and is arrested … How can it be vendetta? Stealing stew from soldiers or turning half of Echmiadzin into a closed zone [ed – in reference to Manvel Grigoryan] – clearly, it’s not a vendetta. This is the restoration of justice.”
Grigoryan believes that one of the demands of the revolution is being fulfilled – the fight against corruption:
“The revolution was against the oligarchy, against corruption, the merging of power and business. Therefore, in the post-revolutionary period, everyone is waiting for such [cases] as with Manvel Grigoryan. Everyone is waiting for the exposure and punishment of corrupt officials.”
He also stresses that the unveiling of such corruption cases must continue, even if it implicates former leaders of the country:
“There should not be people who are untouchable. Former presidents can also be summoned to investigative inquiries, not necessarily as defendants. They may be called as witnesses. In such cases, the revolution will win.”