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Jailed General Again Hospitalized


Armenia -- Reitred General Manvel Grigorian stands trial in Yerevan, May 13, 2019.

Manvel Grigorian, a retired Armenian army general facing a string of criminal charges, was rushed backed to hospital on Wednesday night just two days after being again sent to prison.

Grigorian, who suffers from multiple diseases, was already hospitalized in February one month after being arrested for a second time. Investigators transferred him from the private Nairi Medical Center to a prison hospital in Yerevan against his will on Monday.

The once powerful general refused to undergo treatment there. His lawyers insisted that his life is at risk and that he cannot receive adequate medical aid in the prison facility.

“At around midnight his health condition drastically deteriorated and they had to call an ambulance … and take him to the Surp Grigor Lusavorich [Medical Center,]” one of the lawyers, Arsen Mkrtchian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

According to the hospital’s deputy director, Grigor Manukian, Grigorian’s condition remained “severe” as of Thursday afternoon. Manukian suggested that he will have to remain in intensive care for three or four more days. The doctor singled out diabetes when he described the causes of Grigorian’s poor health.

The 62-year-old general, who had served as Armenia’s deputy defense minister from 2000-2008, has also suffered from lung cancer. An Armenian prosecutor said last month that he had recovered from the disease years ago.

Grigorian stands accused of illegal arms possession, embezzlement, extortion and tax evasion. Some of these charges have also been brought against his wife, Nazik Amirian. The couple continued to deny any wrongdoing when it went on trial on May 13.

Grigorian was first arrested in June last year following searches conducted at his properties in and around the town of Echmiadzin. Investigators found there many weapons, ammunition, medication and field rations for soldiers provided by the Armenian Defense Ministry.

They also discovered canned food and several vehicles donated by Armenians at one of Grigorian’s mansions. An official video of the searches conducted by the National Security Service (NSS) caused shock and indignation in the country.

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