The deputy chief prosecutor of Armenia’s southern Armavir province was dismissed on Thursday following the arrest of his locally famous son accused of hooliganism.
A spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor-General in Yerevan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the official, Sedrak Minasian, himself tendered his resignation and that it was swiftly accepted by his superiors.
Minasian’s son Sevak was detained on Wednesday during a violent dispute with the owner of a restaurant in the regional capital, also called Armavir. The businessman, Misak Ter-Poghosian, told the police that Minasian repeatedly hit him and fired several gunshots in the air from a pistol after being told to pay his restaurant bills.
Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service, Minasian’s friends strongly denied this, saying that the young man himself was assaulted by Ter-Poghosian and several other individuals at the restaurant. They claimed that the incident was a provocation organized by Armavir Mayor Ruben Khlghatian and other local government officials keen to neutralize Minasian ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Minasian challenged Khlghatian in a mayoral election held in Armavir in March last year. According to official election results, he was narrowly defeated by the incumbent mayor affiliated with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
Minasian, who is not a member of any party, refused to concede defeat, alleging serious fraud. Hundreds of his supporters blocked the Armavir-Yerevan highway to demand a rerun of the ballot at the time. Police used force to disperse the crowd.