According to law-enforcement authorities, Aghasi Matevosian and three other men attacked the two Russian nationals early on Friday, stealing their mobile phones as well as a wallet containing 910 euros ($983) in cash. The suspected attackers were detained shortly after the victims alerted police officers patrolling the streets of Armenia’s second largest city.
Matevosian’s lawyers refused to comment on the accusations.
Matevosian is one of the 11 members of the 33-seat city council representing the party headed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. The leader of their faction, Knarik Harutiunian, said on Monday that he was charged with robbery.
“The prosecutors submitted a petition to prosecute Aghasi Matevosian and his three friends … The court approved that request for a two-month arrest yesterday,” Harutiunian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
Harutiunian said that although Matevosian’s arrest and prosecution took Civil Contract’s local branch by surprise, it will not rush to oust him from the council that elected Gyumri’s current mayor, Vardges Samsonian, in November 2021.
“There is no such discussion right now because the case is investigated and there is a presumption of innocence,” she said.
She stressed at the same time that no one in the country should be above the law.
Matevosian’s father Grigor manages the city’s main public transport company controlled by the municipal administration. The arrested suspect is also related to Hambardzum Matevosian, who served as Armenia’s deputy prime minister until last December.