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Sarkisian Trial Hearings Postponed Over Coronavirus


Armenia -- Former President Serzh Sarkisian arrives at a courtroom in Yerevan, February 25, 2020.

A court in Yerevan agreed to postpone by one month hearings in the corruption trial of former President Serzh Sarkisian which were due to resume on Thursday.

Sarkisian’s lawyers requested the postponement earlier this week, citing the “epidemiological situation” in coronavirus-hit Armenia.

One of the lawyers, Amram Makinian, said the presiding judge granted the request and scheduled the next court hearing for April 23.

Sarkisian and four other men went on trial on February 25, accused of embezzling 489 million drams ($1 million) in government funds allocated in 2013 for the provision of subsidized fuel to farmers.

The ex-president was specifically charged in December with giving privileged treatment to a longtime friend and businessman whose company won a government contract to supply the fuel. He rejects the accusations as politically motivated.

Sarkisian, 65, ruled Armenia from 2008-2018. He resigned amid mass protests sparked by his attempt to extend his decade-long rule.

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