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Court seizes $47 million from former Syunik governor

1 September 2022
Surik Khachatryan. Image via Iravaban.net.

The Yerevan court has ordered the seizure ֏19.1 billion ($47.2 million) worth of property and other assets from former Syunik Governor Surik Khachatryan and those close to him, after they failed to demonstrate that they were legally obtained.

The seizures involved property belonging to Khachatryan, his wife, his two sons, and two other relatives. The court froze the assets in February, giving Khachatryan and his family time to provide a ‘reasonable’ explanation for how they were obtained. 

The assets in question include property worth over ֏1.5 billion ($3.8 million), including houses in Yerevan and Goris, land, and vehicles, as well as ֏10 billion ($25 million) in offshore investments. 

Khachatryan, also known as Liska, has been standing trial since 2019 on charges relating to his time in power from 2014 to 2016.

The case revolves around allegations Khachatryan ordered the local authorities to fraudulently transfer land to an associate of his in order to block people with whom he had a conflict from opening businesses in the area.

Khachatryan, a longtime member of the formerly ruling Republican Party, served two terms as a governor of Syunik and has also been Mayor of Goris and an MP.

Khachatryan’s son, Tigran Khachatryan has also found himself in hot water with the law․ He was arrested in June for organising and participating in riots during anti-government protests and was released from pre-trial detention in late July. He has previously been charged with a number of crimes, including murder, however he was never convicted.

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