Armenian parliament votes to strip opposition party leader of immunity

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YEREVAN, June 17. /ARKA/. Armenia’s National Assembly has voted today to strip the leader of the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) Gagik Tsarukyan of his parliamentary immunity allowing prosecutors to prosecute him on charges of vote fraud and illegal commercial activity.

Lawmakers from the Prosperous Armenia and another opposition Bright Armenia party skipped the voting.
The motion brought to parliament by prosecutor general Artur Davtyan was backed by 87 MPs, all from the ruling My Step bloc.

Earlier today Gagik Tsarukyan, one of the wealthiest businessman in Armenian, accused the authorities of fabricating the case against him in retaliation to his calls on the government of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to step down because of its economic, political and other failures.

Tsarukyan is accused of creating and leading an organized group that bought more than 17,000 votes for his Prosperous Armenia Party during parliamentary elections held in April 2017.

Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) said in three subsequent statements on June 15 that its Investigative Department collected sufficient evidence showing that Tsarukyan was engaged in illegal commercial activity conducted through two of his gambling firms having caused damages to the government in the amount of $61 million.

Tsarukyan is also accused of seizing illegally a land area for his Arinj Mall that caused damages to the tune of over $800,000.

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