Armenian parliament speaker accused of being ‘Turkish agent’, NSS refutes
The son-in-law of ex-President Serzh Sargsyan, former Armenian Ambassador to the Vatican Mikael Minasyan, during a live broadcast on Facebook, claimed the Speaker of the Parliament Ararat Mirzoyan is a double agent for the National Security Service of Armenia.
He stated that the head of the National Assembly of Armenia was first recruited by the Turkish special services. Then the National Security Service of Armenia, having clarified this fact, allegedly offered Ararat Mirzoyan either to work as a double agent, or to go on trial for treason.
The Speaker of the Parliament called Minasyan’s accusation “another delirium”, the National Security Service also denied the veracity of the information.
Mikayel Minasyan regularly criticizes the current government, personally the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and his team.
Where he himself is now is unknown, since he was put on the wanted list in for a criminal case and is hiding somewhere abroad. He publishes his “revelations” with a certain frequency on social media.
Below, details of the story that has raised a scandal amongst the Armenian public.
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Accusations from Minasyan
Mikayel Minasyan claims that the Turkish special services recruited Ararat Mirzoyan when he was in the United States and was engaged in research work; he was studying the process of the recognition of the Armenian genocide. And he allegedly agreed to transmit information about what is happening at the Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide.
Then, according to Minasyan, he became a “double agent”, since the NSS of Armenia had already found out about his recruitment, and he was threatened with punishment for high treason:
“He told the Turks what he had to say, the NSS gave permission for the transfer of this or that information and found out what the Turkish special services were interested in.”
In support of his words, Minasyan published a photo of a document of an agreement to cooperate with the Armenian special services, allegedly handwritten by Ararat Mirzoyan himself.
In the caption to the photo, Minasyan suggested carrying out a “handwriting examination of the Turkish spy” and questioning under what circumstances “he became an agent of the Armenian special services.”
According to Mikael Minasyan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan always knew that Mirzoyan was an agent, and through him he kept in touch with Turkey.
Refutation from Mirzoyan and the NSS
“The most recent nonsense of Mikael Minasyan should receive an appropriate criminal-legal assessment. Minasyan must answer for this false denunciation,” the speaker of the parliament said, reacting on his Facebook page.
The National Security Service, in turn, reports that the information published by the former Armenian Ambassador to the Vatican Mikael Minasyan is deliberately false and ‘has nothing to do with reality.’
Social media reaction
Users of the Armenian segment of Facebook have reacted to this story ambiguously. Some of them have come out in support of Minasyan, while others have lent credence to Mirzoyan’s rebuff.
Here are some comments:
“What confidence can there be in the reports of state bodies after their lies during the war. There will be no trust until Pashinyan and his gang are removed from power.”
“You can expect anything from Pashinyan’s team. He is a traitor and his team is the same!”
“As I understand it, Minasyanchik has turned into a drain barrel for the Kremlin. Minasyanchik, let’s go to court with this – with a handwriting examination, with witnesses from the NSS the scoundrel must be tried for treason. Good? Come on over. You’re not a coward, are you?”
What is Mikael Minasyan accused of
A criminal case against Mikael Minasyan was initiated back in March 2020 on charges of illegal enrichment, declaring false information on income and legalization of property obtained by criminal means. Then he was put on the wanted list.
In May 2020, the court ruled to arrest Minasyan.
However, in December 2020, the Court of Appeal of Armenia overturned the decision to arrest the former Armenian ambassador to the Vatican.
Minasyan’s lawyer stated that the criminal case against his client has a political implication, and assessed the court’s decision as another failure of the Armenian Prime Minister.
“I must state that if Nikol Pashinyan had directed at least 10 percent of his efforts to“ sew ”the case against Mikael Minasyan to prevent threats that have arisen in front of our […] homeland, our situation would not be so deplorable ”, wrote the lawyer Mihran Poghosyan on his Facebook page.