The State Revenue Committee (SRC) moved to arrest Minasian in April after charging him with illegal enrichment, false asset disclosure and money laundering. A Yerevan court of first instance allowed the arrest in May. The decision was overturned on appeal a month later, however.
The SRC responded by broadening the criminal charges leveled against Minasian. It said that he had also failed to declare his “de facto” ownership from 2012-2018 of a 49 percent stake in Armenia’s largest food-exporting company.
A court judge approved the arrest warrant on September 22. According to one of Minasian’s lawyers, Mihran Poghosian, the Court of Appeals annulled that decision as well.
The lawyers maintain that their client is a victim of “political persecution” overseen by the Armenian government.
Minasian enjoyed considerable political and economic influence in Armenia when it was ruled by Sarkisian from 2008-2018. He is also thought to have developed extensive business interests in various sectors of the Armenian economy.
A vocal critic of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, Minasian left Armenia shortly after he was dismissed as ambassador to the Vatican in late 2018. According to some media reports, the 42-year-old currently lives in Russia.