Speaking in parliament on August 25, Sukiasian claimed that during his presidency Sarkisian lost over $100 million in a casino in the German spa town of Baden-Baden and that his debt to the casino was paid from taxpayer money.
Sarkisian’s lawyer Amram Makinian said that in court the former president will demand that the pro-government lawmaker publicly refute his statement and offer an apology.
Sarkisian already answered allegations about his gambling habits during the recent election campaign in June. Reacting to such claims by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, he called it a lie, saying that his friends and other people in his surroundings knew that he did not go to casinos and even avoided streets where casinos were.
“They were talking nonsense about Baden-Baden, not realizing that there was a casino in Baden in the 19th century, and it is more a museum than a casino today. As for Monaco, I have not been to Monaco at all during the last 15 years, and it is easy to check this,” the ex-president said.
Talking to media on Thursday, Sukiasian doubled down on his accusations and said that he also had lawyers and was ready for litigation with Sarkisian.
Sukiasian said that in his remarks in parliament he even mentioned a lower amount of money that was allegedly lost by the former president in a casino to make it more provable. “I even know of a case when our state aircraft flew to where there was a casino and money was taken out from here in sacks to pay [for Sarkisian’s debt], because in casinos you can play and pay later,” he claimed.
Sukiasian, who has long been in business, also claimed that there was widespread government corruption during the years of Sarkisian’s presidency and that businesses had to pay money that never went to the state budget.