The tycoon, who strongly supported former President Levon Ter-Petrosian in the February 2008 presidential election, had spent the previous 18 months in hiding, most probably outside Armenia, to avoid prosecution on what he considers trumped-up and politically motivated accusations. He was taken to a maximum security prison in central Yerevan shortly after the surrender.
The SIS said on Wednesday that it will ask a Yerevan court to allow it keep Sukiasian under pre-trial arrest just as it did in the case of Nikol Pashinian, another prominent opposition figure who went into hiding following the March 2008 unrest.
An amnesty bill approved by the National Assembly on June 19 gave the fugitive oppositionists until July 31 to turn themselves in and face trial. Pashinian and two other Ter-Petrosian loyalists chose to come out of hiding before the expiry of the deadline. Under the terms of the pardon, they will walk free if found guilty and sentenced to up to five years’ imprisonment.
Sukiasian, on the other hand, decided not to seek amnesty after the SIS refused to guarantee his liberty.