The brother of Zaruhi Postanjian, a prominent Armenian opposition parliamentarian, was set free on Friday after spending more than three months in detention on corruption charges which the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party says are politically motivated.
Tigran Postanjian walked free during his trial at a district court in Yerevan. The presiding judge, Artur Mkrtchian, said he qualifies for a general amnesty declared by the Armenian authorities late last month.
Postanjian, who worked for the administration of Yerevan’s Arabkir district, was arrested in late February and charged with receiving 100,000 drams ($275) to turn a blind eye to illegal construction carried out by a local resident. He has denied the accusations, linking them with the political activities of his outspoken sister, who is affiliated with Zharangutyun.
Zaruhi and her party have likewise accused the Armenian authorities of fabricating the case to intimidate and silence her. Law-enforcement authorities dismiss these claims.
Tigran Postanjian went on a hunger strike shortly after the start of his trial about a month ago.
“I miss my parents, wife and children and can’t wait to get home,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service after his release.