19 June, 2018 21:11

Armenian Parliament Strips MP Manvel Grigoryan of His Immunity

In a special session on June 19, Armenia’s National Assembly voted to strip Member of Parliament General Manvel Grigoryan of his parliamentary immunity.  

Grigoryan, who is part of the National Assembly’s Republican Party Faction, was detained on June 16 following an operation by the National Security Service of Armenia (NSS), which discovered that Grigoryan has been involved in mass-scale corruption.

Of the 105 members of parliament, 77 voted in favor, three against, two ballots were declared invalid, and 23 members were not present at the vote, including Grigoryan himself.

Earlier, in a closed session, the parliament voted in favor of the Prosecutor General's motion to initiate a criminal case against Grigoryan.

The National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) published a video on June 17th showing its search operation at various properties belonging to Grigoryan. The video, which quickly went viral, shows large quantities of illegal ammunition, dozens of boxes of food labeled “For Soldiers”, military underwear, hygiene supplies, as well as letters from students addressed to frontline soldiers of the 2016 April War being found in Grigoryan’s mansions and warehouses. An ambulance belonging to the Ministry of Defense and a number of SUVs that were donated to the Nagorno Karabakh Army from Russian Armenians in April 2016 were also found in Grigoryan’s garage.

READ MORE: Armenia's National Assembly Member Arrested Over Large Corruption Case

Parliament debated the issue of stripping Grigoryan of his parliamentary immunity as laid out in the government's proposal.

Grigoryan himself called on his colleagues to vote in favor of the motion. He refused to come to the National Assembly to provide more information about the accusations and the criminal case against him.

All parliamentary factions, including the Republicans, were in favor of the prosecutor's motions.

Grigoryan's attorney Arsen Mkrtchyan stated that he could not have stolen the soldiers’ supplies. He claimed that cars discovered in Grigoryan's properties were used during the 2016 April War and gave assurance that there are videos proving his claims.

Gevorg Tosunyan

Zara Sargsyan

Photo: Photolure