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Another Former Armenian Official Indicted


Armenia -- Ruling Republican MP Mher Sedrakian, 22 Feb, 2016

A law-enforcement agency brought on Tuesday corruption charges against a notorious former lawmaker and influential member of former President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).

The Investigative Committee said Mher Sedrakian abused his powers to sell a large part of a public park to his son and brother when he ran Yerevan’s southern Erebuni district from 1999-2008. It claimed that Sedrakian helped his relatives privatize the 12,000-square-meter plot of land in 2004 after they illegally built properties there.

It was not immediately clear if Sedrakian will plead guilty to the accusations. The 69-year-old was not arrested pending investigation. The Investigative Committee had him sign instead a pledge not to leave the country.

Sedrakian, who is better known as “Tokhmakhi Mher,” held sway in Erebuni for many years, controlling many local businesses and strongly influencing election results there. Press reports repeatedly implicated his clan in violent attacks on opposition activists and journalists as well as vote rigging.

Sedrakian was also dogged by scandals when he represented the former ruling HHK in the Armenian parliament from 2012-2017. He reportedly insulted and threatened journalists on at least two occasions, drawing strong condemnations from the country’s leading media associations.

Also facing criminal charges are several other controversial HHK figures and former officials. Some of them have fled to Russia to avoid imprisonment. Only one of them, former parliament deputy Levon Sargsian, has been extradited to Armenia so far.

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