Sick, corrupt general released from prison in Armenia – activists demand treatment and punishment
An Armenian court has decided to release former General Manuel Grigoryan temporarily from prison on grounds of deteriorating health.
He is undergoing treatment in an intensive care unit of a Yerevan hospital.
Manvel Grigoryan, 63, has been in custody for more than a year and a half. He was charged with six accusations of the criminal code.
His attorneys have been insisting on his release from custody for health reasons, but were denied on multiple occasions.
During this time, the general was hospitalized several times. He has many serious illnesses, including diabetes and cancer. Now he faces heart issues – this time around, the petition for release from arrest was presented by the prosecution and granted.
Grigoryan’s arrest – stealing soldiers’ rations, a private zoo and rare car collection
After the velvet revolution of 2018, charges were brought against Grigoryan for ‘illegally acquiring and storing weapons and ammunition.’
The National Security Service carried out searches of his private homes, and in addition to a large number of weapons, personal hygiene products, underwear and canned goods intended for the army were also uncovered.
These products were taken during the flare up of the Karabakh conflict in April 2016, after they were collected by the public.
The National Security Service also released a video portraying Grigoryan’s car fleet with dozens of cars, including rare ones, numerous certificates of ownership of real estate.
Moreover, the general turned out to have a mini-zoo with tigers, bears and ostriches: the animals were fed with the rations intended for soldiers.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the case of Manvel Grigoryan the largest corruption case in the entire independent history of Armenia.
The public was infuriated. Grigoryan was charged with, illegal possession of weapons and ammunition; appropriation of property to the amount of more than 101 million drams (more than 208 thousand dollars), tax evasion of more than 1 billion drams (more than $2 million), waste of state funds to the amount of more than 1 billion drams (more than $ 2 million), organizing the theft of property worth 37 million drams (more than 76 thousand dollars) through extortion.
The ex-deputy was arrested in June 2018.
Activists demand Grigoryan receive treatment – and punishment
A small group of activists from Etchmiadzin (Grigoryan’s hometown) came to Yerevan on January 16 to check whether the general’s health had truly worsened.
Activist Jivan Abrahamyan said on a live Facebook feed:
“They told me in the hospital that he is in the medical center. He is not going to be discharged, but Grigoryan can refuse medical care and go home. But we want him to recover and bear responsibility to the fullest extent of the law.”
Abrahamyan said that they would not organize protests while Grigoryan was in the hospital. However, as soon as he is discharged, activists would resume protests and demand his arrest.