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Armenia’s former Prosecutor General arrested for alleged corruption

8 September 2021
Aghvan Hovsepyan. Photo via Investigative Committee of Armenia.

Aghvan Hovsepyan, who had previously served two terms as Prosecutor General of Armenia and as the chair of the country’s Investigative Committee is accused of receiving bribes, illegally carrying out entrepreneurial activities, and embezzlement. 

Hovsepyan was detained on Tuesday. Later that day, the investigator of the Special Investigation Service of Armenia (SIS) submitted a petition to have him held in pre-trial detention. Hovsepyan was transferred into pre-trial detention on Wednesday.

According to Armenia’s Special Investigation Service, between 2004 and 2018, Hovsepyan participated in the management of several companies carrying out entrepreneurial activities — which he was forbidden as a government official — received around ֏190,000,000 ($385,000) in bribes, and fraudulently embezzled property worth ֏800,000,000 ($1,620,000). 

Hovsepyan is also charged with laundering roughly ֏1,300,000,000 ($2,633,000).

Hovsepyan’s lawyer has stated the charges against his client are groundless and that the ongoing detention of his client has no legal grounds as Hovsepyan did not try to hinder the investigation before he was arrested. 

Hovsepyan was a high-level official during the presidency of two Armenian presidents — Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan.  He held the post of the country’s Prosecutor General between 1998 and 1999 and, the second time, from 2004 to 2013. From 2014 to 2018 Hovsepyan was the chair of the country’s Investigative Committee. 

Hovsepyan resigned from his post as the head of the Investigative Committee in June 2018, following the ‘Velvet’ Revolution. 

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The SIS states that further details will be published as the investigation into Hovespeyan’s alleged crimes continues.